Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Little Shearwater (Puffinus assimilis)


Taxonomy

French: Petit Puffin German: Zwergsturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela semejante
Taxonomy:

Puffinus assimilis

Gould

, 1838,

New South Wales = Norfolk Island

.

Previously considered to include P. elegans, along with races baroli and boydi of P. lherminieri and myrtae of P. newelli. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. tunneyi Mathews, 1912 – S Australian seas, breeding on islands off SW Australia.
  • P. a. assimilis Gould, 1838 – Tasman Sea, breeding on Lord Howe I and Norfolk I.
  • P. a. kermadecensis Murphy, 1927 – Kermadec Is and neighbouring seas.
  • P. a. haurakiensis C. A. Fleming & Serventy, 1943 – New Zealand seas S to Cook Strait, breeding on islands off NE North I (New Zealand).
  • Descriptive notes

    25–30 cm; 139–275 g; wingspan 58–67 cm. Smallest shearwater, rather short-billed, with short broad wings and strongly bicoloured appearance. Nominate race... read more

    Voice

    Probably generally silent at sea. Gives varies multisyllabic screaming, crowing and laughing calls... read more

    Habitat

    Marine, occurring over warm, tropical and subtropical waters; often pelagic, but more frequent over... read more

    Food and feeding

    Poorly known. Squid, small fish and small crustaceans, including krill. Feeds mainly by pursuit-diving, pursuit-plunging and surface-diving... read more

    Breeding

    Mostly during local summer, e.g. returns to colonies in Western Australia (tunneyi) in early Jan, to Lord Howe and Phillip I (... read more

    Movements

    Most populations considered fairly sedentary (making claims as far N as Gulf of Alaska appear... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). However, the species is considered Vulnerable in Australia (races assimilis and tunneyi). Widespread and locally... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Little Shearwater (Puffinus assimilis). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/52579 on 21 January 2018).