Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Critically Endangered

Bryan's Shearwater (Puffinus bryani)


French: Puffin de Bryan German: Midwaysturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela de Bryan

Puffinus bryani

Pyle et al.

, 2011,

Sand Island, Midway Atoll, north-central Pacific Ocean


Description based on a 1963 specimen from Midway Atoll, originally identified as P. assimilis, but with several physical features suggesting closer alliance with P. lherminieri and relatives. Biometrics indicate that it is smaller than any other known shearwater, and phylogenetic analyses suggest that it diverged perhaps about two million years ago. Monotypic.


Insufficient data on breeding and non-breeding ranges. Singletons recorded in burrows at Midway Is, in NW Pacific Ocean, during winter (Feb and Dec–Jan, respectively); six individuals (one live and five dead) found in Bonin Is, S of Japan#R. Probably breeds in Bonin Is and ranges at sea in N Pacific Ocean#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 25 cm. Description based on single specimen of adult male (at least c. 2 years old). A small black-and-white shearwater, with biometrics (wing 174 mm, tail 71 mm, exposed... read more


Recently described from observations on Sand I, Hawaii, in 1990–1992: a series of 5–9... read more


No information.

Food and feeding

No information.


Two individuals were found in burrows on a small island during winter period (Dec–Feb), vocalizing from an accumulation of artificial... read more


No information.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Apparently very rare, and could be at risk of extinction; additional information needed in order to increase understanding of this taxon and its... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Bryan's Shearwater (Puffinus bryani). 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 20 January 2019).