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Christmas Shearwater

CHRISTMAS SHEARWATER
Puffinus nativitatis_Raivavae @ Benoit Fontaine

Puffinus nativitatis_Raivavae @ Benoit Fontaine


APPEARANCE AND IDENTIFICATION

14 inches. Medium in size, the body is uniformly black. Its black beak is characteristic of the species. It is hooked at its end and its tubular nostrils open on top of the beak. Even if it looks alike with the one of the Petrels, it is much longer and more slender than the latter. The legs are black. In flight, it seems to glide on the water surface and alternates long levelled flight at short wing beats. Its tail is short and rounded. This shearwater has the darkest underside. On some breeding colonies, the bird returns to the land in the late afternoon.

Order: Procellariiformes

Family: Procellariidae

Category: Seabirds


LOCATION

Breeds in the Marquesas, Gambier, Tuamotu and Rapa but also in Hawaii, in the Line Islands, Phoenix, as well as Pitcairn and Easter Island. Visible in the North and the center of the Pacific Ocean.


CHARACTERISTICS

Pelagic, its location outside the periods of reproduction is little known. It establishes its colonies on rocky islands, slopes of volcanic islands, remote atolls and coral islands free of rats and cats.

Complaints and groans reminiscent of the cats. The sound is quite similar to that of other puffins (Ardenna pacifica). The call can be emitted in flight or on the ground.

To listen the Christmas Shearwater:
http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Puffinus-nativitatis

Fish, squid and crustaceans.

Visit its colonies at night or late in the afternoon (In the Gambier for example). Nests on the ground, against rocks, under tree roots or other plant cover. An egg, (60 x 40 mm) is incubated by both sexes for about 55 days. Young leaves the nest at the age of 95 days. Breeds during the austral summer in French Polynesia.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.

Bibliography:
https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/442298
http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=EBFA76B40C3EF5F3
http://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/puffin.de.la.nativite.html
http://ifrecor-doc.fr/items/show/1283
http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22698222
http://www.hbw.com/ibc/species/christmas-shearwater-puffinus-nativitatis
https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22698222/132636216

NAMES

Scientifique Name: Puffinus nativitatis  Streets, 1877

Polynesian Names:
Kokokoko (Mangareva), upo’a (Tubuai)

DISTRIBUTION
  • Marquesas, Gambier, Austral (Rapa)
  • North and center of Pacific Ocean, from Hawaii to Pitcairn

STATUS AND PROTECTION

The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List but listed « Near Threatened » (NT) on the France and Polynesia 2015 UICN Red List.