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Calonectris diomedea (Cory's shearwater) 

Geelbekpylstormvoël [Afrikaans]; Kuhl-pijlstormvogel [Dutch]; Puffin cendré [French]; Gelbschnabel-sturmtaucher [German]; Cagarra [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Procellariidae

Calonectris diomedea (Cory's shearwater)  Calonectris diomedea (Cory's shearwater) 
Cory's shearwater, offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©] Cory's shearwater, offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Breeds on islands in the Mediterranean and north-west Atlantic Ocean, after which it heads through the Atlantic Ocean, to the western Indian Ocean. A common summer visitor to southern Africa, while especially off the western and southern coast, while more scarce off the south-eastern coast.

Movements and migrations

Present at its breeding colonies from late February to October and November, while most common in southern African waters in the period from November-May.


It mainly eats fish, supplemented with shrimps, squid and cuttlefish, doing most of its foraging by catching prey from the water surface or plunge-diving up to a depth of about five metres. It also regularly feeds in association with dolphins, toothed whales, gamefish and dolphins, catching prey that they disturb. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • fish
    • Scomberesox saurus (Sauries)
    • Lampanyctodes hectoris (lanternfish)
    • Maurolicus muelleri (Lightfish)
    • Engraulis encrasicolus (Anchovies)
  • invertebrates
    • Squilla armata (mantis shrimps)
    • Taonius (squid)
    • Sepia (cuttlefish)


Not threatened, although killed on longlines and by introduced predators at colonies.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.