Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Identifying ACAP-listed Balearic from Manx and Yelkouan Shearwaters

Marcel Gil-Velasco and colleagues have published in this month in the journal British Birds on identifying the three small shearwaters that breed within Europe.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Three medium-sized Puffinus shearwaters breed in Europe: Manx P. puffinus, Yelkouan P. yelkouan and Balearic Shearwaters P. mauretanicus.  These three, considered a single, polytypic species until relatively recently, can be difficult to identify in some situations, notably in a vagrant context.  This paper presents a detailed review of the plumage variability of the three taxa; combined with an understanding of structural differences and flight characteristics, this should provide a sound basis for the identification of problematic individuals.”


Balearic Shearwater


Gil-Velasco, M., Rodríguez, G., Menzie, S., Arcos, J.M. 2015.  Plumage variability and field identification of Manx, Yelkouan and Balearic Shearwaters.  British Birds Vol. 108.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 15 September 2015

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