Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica)


French: Puffin fouquet German: Keilschwanz-Sturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela del Pacífico

Procellaria pacifica

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Pacific Ocean; restricted to Kermadec Islands


Closely related to A. bulleri. Several races proposed, including cuneata of Japan, but there is considerable individual variation, and species often treated as monotypic. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. p. pacifica (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – breeds at Norfolk I, Kermadec Is, Fiji and Tonga, ranging to SE part of N Pacific Ocean.
  • A. p. chlororhyncha (Lesson, 1831) – tropical and subtropical Indian and Pacific Oceans, in Indian Ocean breeding from Madagascar area E to W Australia and in Pacific breeding from Japan S to NE & E Australia, Lord Howe I, New Caledonia and E (excluding range of nominate) to Revillagigedo Is (off W Mexico), Marquesas Is and Pitcairn I.
  • Descriptive notes

    38–47 cm; 300–570 g; wingspan 97–109 cm. Medium-sized to largish polymorphic shearwater with characteristic long wedge-shaped tail, proportions of pale... read more


    Rarely calls in flight, but regularly does so on ground or from within burrow, most frequently... read more


    Marine and pelagic, rarely approaching land except at colonies; frequents inshore waters off E... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly fish (Mullidae) with some cephalopods (Ommastrephidae); also insects and crustaceans in minor quantities, and offal taken while... read more


    Season now known to be very variable; mostly during local summer at extreme N & S of range, e.g. early Mar to late Nov in Hawaii,... read more


    Some populations apparently largely sedentary, especially in tropics; others at extreme N & S... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundant and widespread, with total population well in excess of 1,000,000 breeding pairs and perhaps 5,200,000 individuals, with 1,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica). 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).