Black-vented Shearwater

Puffinus opisthomelas

Order

PROCELLARIIFORMES

Family

Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Code 4

BVSH

Code 6

PUFOPI

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2018 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Black-vented Shearwater is a seabird that occurs in the Pacific Ocean from central California south to southern Mexico. It only nests on six islands off the coast of Mexico, especially the islands of Isla de Guadalupe, and the Islas San Benito and Isla Natividad. In winter months, this species may migrate short distances to the coasts of central and southern California. The estimated population of this species is 200,000-250,000 total individuals. Although this colonial nesting species is threatened by feral cats and being caught as bycatch, predators have been eradicated from some nesting areas. The conservation rating for this species is Near Threatened.

SUMMARY

Overview

Black-vented Shearwater: Medium shearwater, brown-black upperparts, white underparts, brown mottling on sides of breast and flanks. Tail is dark. Eats fish, crustaceans, and squid. Quick low flight with short stiff wingbeats followed by glide. Soars in high winds.

 

Range and Habitat

Black-vented Shearwater: This species breeds on islands off the coast of Baja California. It is a year-round visitor off the coast of southern California, but is most commonly found there in late fall and winter. Mostly winters along the Pacific coast of Mexico and areas south. Lives on open ocean, only comes ashore to breed.

whatbird search for your browser

Black-vented Shearwater SONGS AND CALLS

Black-vented Shearwater Silent

Generally silent except on breeding grounds.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

Generally silent

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It flies close to the waves, its flight more fluttery than that of other shearwaters. It rarely follows ships, but feeds by snatching food from the water's surface and sometimes by diving. It also swims beneath the surface, aided by its wings.
  • The Black-vented Shearwater is frequently seen from shore. They are only found in the waters off southern and Baja California, where it nests on isolated islands in the California Current. Natividad Island may host as much as 30-40% of the global population of this species.
  • The form that visits California waters has dark under tail coverts and was formerly considered a race of the Manx Shearwater, a resident of the North Atlantic.
  • A group of shearwaters are collectively known as an "improbability" of shearwaters.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X