Galápagos shearwater

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Galápagos shearwater
Puffinus subalaris.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Puffinus
Species: P. subalaris
Binomial name
Puffinus subalaris
Ridgway, 1897

Puffinus lherminieri subalaris

The Galápagos shearwater (Puffinus subalaris) is a small shearwater. Until recently it was considered to be a subspecies of Audubon's shearwater, but it is actually one of two members of a very ancient lineage of the small Puffinus species, the other being, as indicated by mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data, the Christmas shearwater.[3]

It is an endemic breeder of the Galápagos Islands, and is largely sedentary, although individuals are commonly seen as far as the Oaxacan coast of Mexico.[4]


The Galápagos shearwater has dark brown upperparts, undertail and underwing flight feathers, the rest of the underparts plumage being white. It sometimes has a dark collar. Both sexes are alike, as are the young after fledging.[4]

It is a slender-bodied shearwater, about 29–31 cm long, with a wingspan of around 63 cm and weighs 123-225 g. The species closely resembles the tropical shearwater, although the latter is typically blacker and has a longer tail.[4]


The Galápagos shearwater is a gregarious species and will feed at sea with other shearwaters and boobies. It flies low over the water and feeds on squid, fish and offal. It intersperses 4-10 stiff wing beats with shallow glides.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2014). "Puffinus subalaris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Puffinus subalaris". Avibase. 
  3. ^ 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". Auk. 121 (3): 847–864. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121[0847:AGMPOT]2.0.CO;2. 
  4. ^ a b c d Onley, and Scofield, Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World (Helm 2007) ISBN 978-0-7136-4332-9

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