Sunday, 13 May 2018

Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan)

OTHER NAMES: Levantine Shearwater, Mediterranean Shearwater
Latin Etymology: Puffinus (Shearwater) yelkouan ("Wind Chaser")
Six Adult Yelkouan Shearwater at Capo Murro di Porco, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Berta Minora Mediterranea ("Lower Mediterranean Shearwater")
Featured Subspecies: 
Weight: 395g
Length: 30-38cm
Wingspan: 76-89cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

There probably hasn't been such a dramatic reappraisal of species in recent decades as that undertaken by the shearwaters.  Bird books from the 90s just list Manx Shearwater and perhaps describe regional differences.  However, more recent analysis has in Europe alone has split the species from 1 to three, with more around the world.  The Yelkouan Shearwater is the species of this complex found more in the Eastern Mediterranean where it largely breeds on smaller islands where it is less disturbed by humans.

Related Species:
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Puffinus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - Fairly commonly seen from headlands
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Seen from Capo Murro di Porco in several small flocks

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, BirdGuides, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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