Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Near Threatened

Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas)


French: Puffin cul-noir German: Schwarzsteiß-Sturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela culinegra

Puffinus opisthomelas


, 1864,

Cape San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico


Sometimes considered a race of P. puffinus. Monotypic.


Pacific coast from C California to S Mexico, breeding on islands off W coast of Baja California, and also reported from Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California#R.

Descriptive notes

30–38 cm; 332–545 g; wingspan 76–89 cm. Mid-sized to smallish bicoloured shearwater with no clear demarcation between head and abdomen or with dusky... read more


Vocalizes both in flight and on ground (including within burrows) giving either a moaning growl (... read more


Marine; mainly in warm inshore waters. Breeds on offshore islets, sometimes in caves.

Food and feeding

Mostly small shoaling fish, especially northern anchovies (Engraulis mordax) and Pacific sardines (Sardinops sagax), but... read more


Perhaps starts Jan on some islands, but on Natividad (where birds attend colony for up to ten months) egg-laying early Mar to mid Apr, with... read more


Post-breeding dispersal commences Jul–Aug and is mostly N along W coast of N America to C... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened, due to reduced breeding range and apparently small numbers, although work in the 1990s has suggested that... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas). 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 25 February 2020).