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Black-vented shearwater

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Title: Black-vented shearwater  
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Subject: Puffinus, Shearwaters, Manx shearwater, List of birds of Canada, Isla Natividad
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Black-vented shearwater

Black-vented shearwater
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Puffinus
Species: 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.


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  3. ^ E.g. "thousands upon thousands" of birds seen off San Quintín, Baja California at the end of June: Thayer & Bangs (1908)
  4. ^

Further reading

  • Carboneras, Carles (1992): 65. Black-vented Shearwater. In: del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.): Handbook of Birds of the World (Volume 1: Ostrich to Ducks): 255–256, Plate 16. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-10-5
  • Harrison, Peter (1983): Seabirds: An Identification Guide. Croon Helm, Beckenham. ISBN 0-7099-1207-2
  • National Geographic Society (2002): Field Guide to the Birds of North America. National Geographic, Washington DC. ISBN 0-7922-6877-6

External links

  • Black-vented shearwater photos
  • Black-vented shearwater photo gallery – VIREO
  • Photo-High Res – southwestbirders

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