Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)


Newell's Shearwater (Puffinus newelli)


French: Puffin de Newell German: Hawaiisturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela de Newell

Puffinus newelli


, 1900,

Maui, Hawaiian Islands


Sometimes treated as a race of P. puffinus. Usually considered conspecific with P. auricularis, but slightly larger and with longer tail, for which effect size (from published data#R) 3.29 (score 2); no grey flecking on throat sides, so that dark head pattern appears cleaner-cut (1); bolder, squarer dark mark on neck side (2); undertail-coverts white vs white-edged grey (2); darker upperparts (ns[1]). Race myrtae usually placed in P. assimilis, but here considered to belong in present species, following some recent authors#R#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. n. newelli Henshaw, 1900 – C Pacific Ocean, breeding on islands of Lehua (off N Niihau), Kauai, Molokai and Hawaii, and possibly also on Oahu, Maui and Lanai#R, in Hawaiian Is.
  • P. n. myrtae Bourne, 1959 – presumably C Pacific Ocean; breeds on Rapa I, in Austral Is (SC Pacific).
  • Descriptive notes

    32–38 cm; 291–425 g; wingspan 77–89 cm. Rather small, contrastingly blackish and white, with variable amount of blackish on undertail-coverts. Compared to... read more


    Gives repeated series of 2–5 (usually three) jackass-like braying notes followed by 1–2 additional... read more


    Marine, occurring in warm subtropical offshore and pelagic waters. Breeds on islands, in areas with... read more

    Food and feeding

    First detailed data published within last few years, based on analysis of stomach contents of recent fledglings found dead on Kauai, Hawaii... read more


    Arrives at colonies in last week of Apr, followed by two-week pre-laying exodus, with laying in first week of Jun and young departing... read more


    Little known; thought to disperse to adjacent seas; recorded S to waters just N of Galápagos Is.... read more

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Population estimated at 4000–6000 breeding pairs, although pelagic surveys in mid 1990s indicated c. 84,000 birds, or breeding population of 16,700–19,300 pairs;... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Newell's Shearwater (Puffinus newelli). 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 October 2018).