Black-vented shearwater

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Black-vented shearwater
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Puffinus
P. opisthomelas
Binomial name
Puffinus opisthomelas
Coues, 1864

The black-vented shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas) is a species of seabird. The bird is 30–38 cm in size, with a 76–89 cm wingspan. Formerly considered a subspecies of the Manx shearwater, its actual relationships are unresolved.[2]

This species is pelagic, occurring in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. It comes closer to land than most other shearwaters, so it sometimes can be seen from shore.[3] It predominantly nests on offshore islands off north and western Baja California, namely Isla de Guadalupe, Islas San Benito and Isla Natividad. It is fairly common off the United States coast of central and southern California during the country's colder months.

The black-vented shearwater is thought to feed on mainly small fish. This bird nests in burrows and caves; it is a colonial nester.

In the past, this bird had been threatened by feral cats and other predators on its breeding islands,[4] but the problem seems to have been largely eliminated. There is some loss of birds from commercial gill netting, and the species is classified as near threatened by the IUCN mainly due to the uncertain impact on it by the expanding fishing industry.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Puffinus opisthomelas". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Austin, Jeremy J.; Bretagnolle, Vincent & Pasquet, Eric (2004). "A Global Molecular Phylogeny of the Small Puffinus Shearwaters and Implications for Systematics of the Little-Audubon's Shearwater Complex". The Auk. 121 (3): 847. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121[0847:AGMPOT]2.0.CO;2.
  3. ^ E.g. "thousands upon thousands" of birds seen off San Quintín, Baja California at the end of June: Thayer & Bangs (1908)
  4. ^ Thayer, John E. & Bangs, Outram (1908). "The Present State of the Ornis of Guadaloupe Island" (PDF). Condor. 10 (3): 101–106. doi:10.2307/1360977.

Further reading[edit]

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