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Tuatara: Volume 21, Issues 1 and 2 (New Zealand Albatrosses and Petrels: an Identification Guide)

61. Audubon's Shearwater — (Puffinus lherminieri) — Plate 21

61. Audubon's Shearwater
(Puffinus lherminieri)
Plate 21

Field Characters: 69/30. A small, black and white shearwater, similar to the Little Shearwater (32). Upperparts entirely sooty black. The demarcation line between black and white is well below the eye, giving the impression of a dark face. Underbody white, except for the black undertail coverts. Underwing in most birds broadly margined with black, but the black leading margin in some individuals can be narrow and inconspicuous.

Bill long, slender and black. Feet bi-coloured.

Differs from Little Shearwater (32) by having a darker face, variably broad black underwing margins and dark undertail coverts.

Flight low over water with short glides interspersed with very rapid wingbeats. Does not follow ships.

Breeds on many islands in the tropical Pacific and does not disperse far from its nesting islands. Not recorded from New Zealand.