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Wedge-tailed Shearwater

WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER

Anciennement appelé Puffin Fouquet


APPEARANCE AND IDENTIFICATION

16-17 inches. It is the largest bird of its category in Polynesia. Male and female identical in appearance. The body is entirely black-brown. The throat and chest are somewhat paler than other shearwaters black body. The underside of the body is dark grey. The beak is black. There are lighter individuals which are brown above, grey-white below, with a pale grey beak. The beak is characteristic of this bird. It is hooked at its end and its tubular nostrils open on the top of the beak. It is much longer and more slender than the Petrel’s beak. The legs are flesh coloured. In flight, it alternates long flight phases hovered at short wing beats, flying low on the surface of the water. Its tail is cuneiform, very distinctive.

Order: Procellariiformes

Family: Procellariidae

Category: Seabirds


LOCATION

Throughout Polynesia. It is remains in the Society Islands, the Tuamotu, Marquesas and Austral Islands. Abundant in tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific Ocean (Hawaii, Mariana Islands, Caroline, Marshall, Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Pitcairn) and the Indian Ocean.


CHARACTERISTICS

Pelagic, it returns on land to breed. Groups of individuals gather late in the afternoon and fly back to their colonies. Nests in burrows on islands, atolls and on the heights of volcanic islands. Opportunistic, it uses various sites: caves, old rabbit burrows …

« Ka-whooooo-ahh » ” during the parade, they repeat this sound hysterically. Sings on the ground, unlike other Puffins in Polynesia.

To listen Wedge-tailed Shearwater:
https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Ardenna-pacifica

Hunts alone, in couple or in scattered groups. It eats is squid, crustaceans and small fish that it captures while swimming on the surface or by diving.

In dense colonies from September to May It nests in a room at the end of a burrow two meters below the surface, but sometimes simply under a rock or bush. The reproductive cycle is studied outside French Polynesia. A white egg (63-69 x 41-44 mm) is incubated for 50 days by both sexes. The young flies off after 70 to 95 days of rearing.

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

Bibliography:
https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/695969
http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=E94A7272C71031C6
http://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/puffin.fouquet.html
http://ifrecor-doc.fr/items/show/1283
http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22698175
http://www.hbw.com/ibc/species/wedge-tailed-shearwater-ardenna-pacifica
https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22698175/132631353

NAMES

Scientifique Name: Ardenna pacifica (Gmelin, 1789)

Polynesian Names:
O’upoa (Moorea et Maupiti), kokokoko (Mangareva), upo’a (Tubuai)

LOCATION
  • Everywhere in French Polynesia: Marquesas, Tuamotu, Society, Austral
  • Tropical and subtropical areas of Pacific Ocean

STATUS AND PROTECTION

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