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Boyd's Shearwater - BirdForum Opus

Puffinus boydi



  • 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
  • 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, Little Shearwater, Barolo Shearwater and Audubon's Shearwater.


Breeds in the northern Atlantic on Cape Verde Islands.


This is a monotypic species.
Clements[1] and Gill and Donsker[2] agree on the taxonomy of this species. Dickinson[3] however treats the shearwaters differently.
Boyd's Shearwater was formerly considered to be a subspecies of Little Shearwater. It was later split together with Barolo Shearwater as Macaronesian Shearwater which was split again into two monotypic species. Dickinson follows Austin and others and has transferred boydi (and baroli) to Audubon's Shearwater.


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.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Dickinson, EC, ed. 2014. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 4th ed. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0956861122
  4. Paper by Austin et al. (2004) describing phylogeny of small shearwaters
  5. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  6. Beaman, M., S. Madge, K.M. Olsen. 1998. Fuglene i Europa, Nordafrika og Mellemøsten. Copenhagen, Denmark: Gads Forlag, ISBN 87-12-02276-4
  7. Pizzey, G. & Knight, F. 1997. Birds of Australia (Collins Field Guide). HarperCollins Publishers, London. ISBN 0-00-220132-1
  8. Alvaro Jaramillo. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton Field Guides. ISBN 0-691-11740-3

Recommended Citation

External Links