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Puffinus carneipes (Flesh-footed shearwater) 

BruinpylstormvoŽl [Afrikaans]; Australische grote pijlstormvogel [Dutch]; Puffin ŗ pieds p‚les [French]; BlaŖfuŖ-sturmtaucher [German]; Pardela-de-patas-rosadas [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

Puffinus carneipes (Flesh-footed shearwater)  Puffinus carneipes (Flesh-footed shearwater) 

Flesh-footed shearwater. [photo Jeff Poklen ©]

Flesh-footed shearwater. [photo Jeff Poklen ©]

Distribution and habitat

Breeds at St Paul Island (South Indian Ocean) and Lord Howe Island (off eastern Australia), as well as islands off New Zealand and southern Australia, after which it disperses across the Indian and Pacific Ocean, extending into southern African waters. Here it occurs off the eastern and southern coast, and is most common in patch of sea off northern KwaZulu-Natal, but otherwise becoming increasingly scarce further west up to Cape Town, Western Cape.

Movements and migrations

Trans-equatorial migrant, departing from its colonies in May and returning between August and September. It is non-breeding adults and immature birds are present year-round in southern African waters, although its numbers off the eastern coast peak in winter when they are joined by breeding adults. Strangely enough it is most common off the Western Cape in Summer, from October-May.


It mainly eats fish, squid and trawler offal, doing most of its foraging by grabbing water from the water surface (sometimes in a shallow dive), or alternatively pursuit-diving with half-folded wings up to a depth of about 13 metres.


Not threatened, although introduced predators at breeding colonies and mortalities on longlines are both cause for concern.


  • 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. 

  • Harrison, J.A., Allan, D.G., Underhill, L.G., Herremans, M., Tree. A.J., Parker, V. & Brown, C.J. (eds). 1997. The atlas of southern African birds. Vol. 2: Passerines. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.