Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Near Threatened

Sooty Shearwater (Ardenna grisea)


French: Puffin fuligineux German: Dunkler Sturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela sombría

Procellaria grisea

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Southern Hemisphere between 35° S and 50° S = New Zealand




All major oceans except N Indian Ocean, breeding in S Chile and Falkland Is, in Tristan da Cunha#R, and in SE Australia and New Zealand area.

Descriptive notes

40–51 cm; 650–978 g; wingspan 94–109 cm. Largish dark shearwater with relatively narrow, pointed wings, and pale areas on central underwing. Most of... read more


Noisy at colonies, but probably mostly silent at sea. Mostly vocalizes on ground or from burrow,... read more


Marine; generally occurs in cold offshore and pelagic waters; satellite-tracking studies in US... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly small shoaling fish, cephalopods (Onychoteuthis, Gonatus, Loligo opalescens) and crustaceans, proportions... read more


Starts late Sept/early Oct with return to colony, followed by pre-laying exodus of c. 14 days, egg-laying from mid Nov to early Dec in New... read more


Transequatorial migrant, moving into N Pacific (where more abundant) and N Atlantic; non-breeders... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Abundant and widespread, with total population of several million birds, including perhaps 4,000,000 pairs in... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sooty Shearwater (Ardenna grisea). 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 28 February 2020).