Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis)


French: Puffin de la Nativité German: Weihnachtssturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela de Navidad
Other common names: Kiritimati Shearwater, Christmas Island Shearwater

Puffinus (Nectris) nativitatis


, 1877,

Christmas Island, Pacific Ocean




Tropical and subtropical C Pacific from Hawaii S to Phoenix Is, thence E to Marquesas Is, Easter I and Salas y Gómez I.

Descriptive notes

33–38 cm; 270–415 g; wingspan 83–90 cm. Mid-sized, slim, all-dark shearwater. Plumage entirely dark chocolate-brown, sometimes with greyish hue;... read more


Only described vocalizations (contexts unknown) are a bisyllabic drawn-out, swelling moan, lasting... read more


Marine and pelagic; occurs over warm waters, generally keeping away from land, except near colonies... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly fish and especially squid, with only minor proportions of crustaceans. Squid predominate by volume on Kiritimati (71%) and in Hawaii... read more


Season variable, starting Mar in Hawaii and late Mar to early May on Johnston Atoll, but apparently year-round in some areas, e.g.... read more


Presumably disperses over tropical and subtropical waters, though some populations are probably... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread, with total population numbering perhaps 50,000 breeding pairs and 150,000 breeding pairs; exact size of population,... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis). 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 February 2020).