Section 15.19 of the Java Language Specification 3.0 explains why this is:
If the promoted type of the left-hand operand is int, only the five lowest-order bits of the right-hand operand are used as the shift distance. It is as if the right-hand operand were subjected to a bitwise logical AND operator & (�15.22.1) with the mask value 0x1f. The shift distance actually used is therefore always in the range 0 to 31, inclusive.
So, no shifting is taking place here. The -1 returned is the original (unshifted) parameter.