- Puffinus assimilis
- Very dark upperparts
- Pale area on upperside of secondaries, more so on worn birds
- White underparts
- Underwing very white with thinner black trailing edge than similar species
- Wings shorter and rounder than similar species; does not reach tip of tail on resting bird
- Body relatively longer than similar species
- White cheeks extend up to sides of crown encircling dark eye (this is true for forms from Australia, but for example not for elegans that have black sides of head)
- Rounded head
- Dark peak reaching slightly down into the white underside behind head
- Slim bill shorter than similar species
- Legs and feet pale blue
- In flight on a calm day may remind of a smaller Alcid.
 Similar Species
Manx Shearwater, Audubon's Shearwater, Macaronesian Shearwater, and Townsend's Shearwater.
Oceanic wanderers with breeding centres in the Southern Oceans and the Southern Atlantic
Macaronesian Shearwater has recently been split from this species (Austin 1996, Heidrich et al. 1998.).
Clements currently accept 5 subspecies
- Islands off south-west Australia (Abrolhos Islands to RÃ©cherche Archaepelago)
- Norfolk and Lord Howe islands
- Islets off north-east coast of North Island (New Zealand)
Austin and others in 2004 suggested a radical revision of the taxonomy of small shearwaters. If their proposals are followed, Little Shearwater will contain five subspecies: assimilis, tunneyi, kermadecensis, haurakiensis, and elegans. Subspecies baroli and boydi would be transferred to Audubon's Shearwater or treated as one (Macaronesian Shearwater) or two full species (Barolo and Boyd's Shearwater). In partial acceptance of these data, myrtae has been transferred to Newell's Shearwater (currently treated as part of Townsend's Shearwater in Opus)
Breeds on islands and coastal cliffs, otherwise pelagic.
Often holds head up. Quick wingbeats.
Nests are made in burrows, in small colonies.
Diet includes fish and molluscs.
- Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
- Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
- Beaman, M., S. Madge, K.M. Olsen. 1998. Fuglene i Europa, Nordafrika og MellemÃ¸sten. Copenhagen, Denmark: Gads Forlag, ISBN 87-12-02276-4
- Pizzey, G. & Knight, F. 1997. Birds of Australia (Collins Field Guide). HarperCollins Publishers, London. ISBN 0-00-220132-1
- Alvaro Jaramillo. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton Field Guides. ISBN 0-691-11740-3
- Paper by Austin et al. (2004) describing phylogeny of small shearwaters
 External Links