Newell's Shearwater

Pufinis newelli




Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In burrow on steep, forested slopes.

Nest Material:






Newell's Shearwater: Small shearwater with mostly black upperparts, black on side of lower neck and white underparts; white patch on flanks extending to the rump. Underwings are mostly white with a dark border. Undertail coverts have a black and white pattern. Dark coloration on the face extends below the eye and is separate from the white throat. Many birds also show small white-gray mark below eye. Has medium length, slender black-gray bill with small hook on tip and a medium length rounded tail; legs and feet are mostly pink.

Breeding and Nesting

Newell's Shearwater: In April, the shearwaters arrive at their island nesting grounds. One white egg is laid in a burrow located on a steep slope, often sheltered by native fern species. Both parents incubate the egg for 62 days and provide parental care when the egg hatches. By November, the young will have fledged and the parents provide no further care.

Foraging and Feeding

Newell's Shearwater: These shearwaters forage in pelagic waters for squid and small fish driven to the surface by tuna and other large predators. They dive and swim to depths of ten meters in pursuit of prey. They swallow the prey whole; beneath the water’s surface they can swallow one prey item on a given plunge. They do not normally scavenge dead prey.


Newell's Shearwater: Flight call resembles donkey-like braying sounds "ahr eh ahr eh" or "ahr ah-ah ahr ah-ah”. Burrow call is "Ao-ao-ao." Female's call is noisier and harsher. Male's call from the ground and females call from the air.

Similar Species

Newell's Shearwater: Bonin Petrel shows more black on underwing and Juan Fernandez Petrel has lighter gray upperparts with black markings.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X