Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Near Threatened

Cape Verde Shearwater (Calonectris edwardsii)


French: Puffin du Cap-Vert German: Kapverden-Sturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela cenicienta caboverdiana

Puffinus Edwardsii


, 1883,

Branco; Cape Verde Islands


Until recently considered conspecific with C. diomedea and C. borealis, but differs from both in its thin greyish (vs thick yellow) bill with blackish subterminal band (3); darker and greyer brown upperparts, often with dark W-mark across upperwing (2); clean demarcation between dark upper and white lower parts of head, thus sometimes creating capped appearance (1); smaller and slimmer size, with longer tail, smaller head, slightly narrower wings (at least 1); uppertail-coverts tending to show more white (ns[1]); possibly shallower wingbeats, wings held slightly more forward, hand at right angles to body when gliding (ns)#R#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Cape Verde Is, outside breeding season moving to winter quarters mainly in upwelling systems of tropical and S Atlantic#R.

Descriptive notes

42–47 cm; 420–540 g; wingspan 101–112 cm. The smallest member of the C. diomedea complex (mean wing length of male 313 mm, versus 346 mm in C. diomedea and... read more


Vocalizes frequently at colonies, both in flight and on ground (including from within burrows),... read more


Marine and pelagic, usually keeping well away from land, except at colonies. Breeds on barren... read more

Food and feeding

Few if any known differences in diet and foraging behaviour from C. diomedea. Diet described as comprising fish (mackerel, herring... read more


Return to colonies starts in late Feb/early Mar, with display recorded from mid Mar, and egg-laying May–Jul on Cape Verdes, and fledging... read more


Migratory, being absent from Cape Verdes between mid Nov and late Feb/early Mar, although there is... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Listed as Near Threatened. Confined as a breeder to the Cape Verdes, where known to breed on Santiago, Brava, Branco, Raso, São Nicolau, and perhaps... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Cape Verde Shearwater (Calonectris edwardsii). 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 9 April 2020).