Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Persian Shearwater (Puffinus persicus)


French: Puffin persique German: Arabiensturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela persa
Other common names: Arabian Shearwater

Puffinus Persicus

A. O. Hume

, 1872,

#R at sea between Guadar and Muscat


Previously treated as conspecific with P. lherminieri (see Genus Puffinus). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. persicus A. O. Hume, 1872 – Arabian Sea, breeding on Socotra and Kuria Muria Is (off S Oman).
  • P. p. temptator Louette & Herremans, 1985 – W Indian Ocean, breeding on Mohéli (Comoro Is).
  • Descriptive notes

    27–33 cm; 175 g (temptator, one male); wingspan 64–74 cm. Small, dark-and-white shearwater with comparatively short broad wings and long rounded tail.... read more


    No detailed vocal data, even for nominate persicus.


    Marine; normally in offshore waters, but also pelagic and near land in vicinity of colonies;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Presumably mainly fish, squid and crustaceans, like other members of P. bailloni complex. Prey caught by pursuit-diving and... read more


    Generally in summer (e.g. Comoros, temptator). Very few breeding data for either race, e.g. persicus reported by local... read more


    Little known, especially race temptator. Adults thought to be largely sedentary; immatures... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and locally abundant, breeding on Kuria Muria Is, off Oman, and on Socotra (the bulk of the population), with an overall... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Persian Shearwater (Puffinus persicus). 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).