Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Audubon's Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri)


French: Puffin d’Audubon German: Audubonsturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela de Audubon

Pufflnus [sic] Lherminieri


, 1839,



Treated in HBW as comprising ten subspecies including P. bailloni, P. persicus and P. bannermani, but present races baroli and boydi were then treated as subspecies of P. assimilis. In recent past baroli and boydi have been split from P. lherminieri as one species#R or as two species#R, while in a third treatment baroli was split from lherminieri and boydi#R. Given that (a) the various points of morphological similarity and divergence in these taxa compose a mosaic of half-shared characters, (b) a recent molecular analysis#R identified a clade involving lherminieri, baroli and boydi, and (c) these three taxa are geographically grouped together in the N Atlantic, for the present we opt to retain them as one species, with race loyemilleri (breeding on islands off NW Panama) now regarded as synonym of nominate#R. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. l. lherminieri Lesson, 1839 – Audubon's Shearwater – tropical and subtropical W Atlantic Ocean, breeding in Bahamas, West Indies, islets E of Nicaragua (Providencia I), islands off NW Panama; formerly also Bermuda.
  • P. l. baroli (Bonaparte, 1857) – Barolo Shearwater – tropical and subtropical E Atlantic Ocean, breeding in Azores, Madeira, Desertas, Salvages and Canary Is.
  • P. l. boydi Mathews, 1912 – Boyd's Shearwater – tropical and subtropical E Atlantic Ocean, breeding in Cape Verde Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    27–33 cm, 26–28 cm (baroli), 28–30 cm (boydi); 138–290 g (lherminieri), 140–211 g (baroli); wingspan 64... read more


    Described as sounding like a “squeaky, strangled” P. puffinus, with sexual dimorphism... read more


    Marine; normally in offshore waters, but also pelagic and near land in vicinity of colonies. Breeds... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly fish, squid and crustaceans. Prey caught by pursuit-diving and pursuit-plunging, pattering and surface-seizing. Dives can last... read more


    Season and length of cycle variable with locality, generally in summer at higher latitudes; and mainly late Feb to Mar in NE Atlantic, but... read more


    Little known. Adults thought to be largely sedentary; immatures probably more dispersive. Regular... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and locally abundant, with total population of several tens of thousands of breeding pairs. Nominate lherminieri... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Audubon's Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 February 2020).