Volume 49, No. 2

Volumes > 38 (2010-->) Volumes 28-37 (2000-09) Volumes 18-27 (1990-99) Volumes 5-17 (1978-89)
a.k.a. Cormorant

Quick Search by author or article title:

Field separation of Cory's Calonectris borealis and Scopoli's C. diomedea Shearwaters by underwing pattern



1FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa (live2seabird@gmail.com)

2Fauna and Flora Service, Generalitat de Catalunya, Provença 204, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

Received 08 May 2021, accepted 16 June 2021

Date Published: 2021/10/15
Date Online: 2021/10/14

Download PDF
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3


FLOOD, R.L. & GUTIÉRREZ, R. 2021. Field separation of Cory's Calonectris borealis and Scopoli's C. diomedea Shearwaters by underwing pattern. Marine Ornithology 49: 311-320.

Key words: Cory's Shearwater, Scopoli's Shearwater, Calonectris shearwater identification


The genus Calonectris contains four species: Streaked Shearwater C. leucomelas (which breeds in the North Pacific mainly on islands off Korea, Japan, and Taiwan), Scopoli's Shearwater C. diomedea (which breeds mainly in the Mediterranean Sea), Cory's Shearwater C. borealis (which breeds mainly on islands in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean), and Cape Verde Shearwater C. edwardsii (which is an endemic breeder of the Cape Verde Islands). In this study, we were concerned with the field separation of the cryptic pair Scopoli's Shearwater and Cory's Shearwater, only briefly considering the more easily recognised Streaked Shearwater and Cape Verde Shearwater. Background information is summarised in Appendix 1, available on the website).


BOURNE, W.R.P. 1955. On the status and appearance of the races of Cory's Shearwater Procellaria diomedea. Ibis 97: 145-149.

CAMPBELL, O., FLOOD, R.L., AL DHAHERI, K. & TALBOT, G. 2013. The first confirmed records of Cory's Shearwater Calonectris (diomedea) borealis for the United Arab Emirates and Oman, in 2011. Sandgrouse 35: 126-131.

CRAMP, S. & SIMMONS, K.E.L. 1977. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. 1. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

DIAS, M.P., GRANADEIRO, J.P., PHILLIPS, R.A., ALONSO, H. & CATRY, P. 2011. Breaking the routine: individual Cory's shearwaters shift winter destinations between hemispheres and across ocean basins. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 1786-1793.

FISHER, E.A. & FLOOD, R.L. 2010. Scopoli's Shearwater: new to Britain. British Birds 103: 712-717.

FLOOD, R.L. & GUTIÉRREZ, R. 2019. The status of Cory's Shearwater in the western Mediterranean Sea. Dutch Birding 41: 159-165.

FLOOD, R.L. & FISHER, A. 2020. North Atlantic Seabirds: Shearwaters, Jouanin's & White-chinned Petrels. Scilly, UK: Pelagic Birds & Birding Multimedia ID Guides.

GENOVART, M., THIBAULT, J-C., IGUAL, J.M., BAUZA-RIBOT, M. DEL MAR., RABOUAM, C. & BRETAGNOLLE, V. 2013. Population structure and dispersal patterns within and between Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of a large-range pelagic seabird. PLoS One 8: e70711. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070711

GÓMEZ-DÍAZ, E., GONZÁLEZ-SOLÍS, J., PEINADO, M.A. & PAGE, R.D.M. 2006. Phylogeography of the Calonectris shearwaters using molecular and morphometric data. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 41: 322-332.

GONZÁLEZ-SOLÍS, J., CROXALL, J.P., ORO, D. & RUIZ, X. 2007. Trans-equatorial migration and mixing in the wintering areas of a pelagic seabird. Frontiers in Ecology & Environment 5: 297-301.

GONZÁLEZ-SOLÍS, J., FELICISIMO, A., FOX, J.W., AFANASYEV, V., KOLBEINSSON, Y. & MUÑOZ, J. 2009. Influence of sea surface winds on shearwater migration detours. Marine Ecology Progress Series 391: 221-230.

GRANADEIRO, J.P. 1993. Variation in measurements of Cory's Shearwater between populations and sexing by discriminant analysis. Ringing & Migration 14: 103-112.

GUTIÉRREZ, R. 1998. Flight identification of Cory's and Scopoli's Shearwaters. Dutch Birding 20: 216-225

GUTIÉRREZ, R. 2005. Identification of shearwaters at Sea. Workshop EBN/Italia ‘Presenza alata sull baccino Mediterraneo: spezie comuni é rarità'. Comacchio, Italy: International Po Delta Birdwatching Fair 2005. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.21417.65127

HOWELL, S.N.G. Petrels, Albatrosses and Storm-petrels of North America. New York, USA: Princeton University Press.

HOWELL, S.N.G. & PATTESON, B. 2008. Variation in Cory's and Scopoli's Shearwaters. Alula 14: 12-16.

HOWELL, S.N.G. & ZUFELT, K. 2019. Oceanic Birds of the World: A Photo Guide. New York, USA: Princeton University Press.

KARRIS, G., XIRUCHAKIS, S., GRIVAS, K., FRIC, J. DIMALEXIS, T. & SFENTHOURAKIS, S. 2016. Migratory behaviour of Cory's Shearwaters, Calonectris diomedea, from an Ionian Sewa colony: an application of miniature geolocation technology. Poster presentation.

MASSA, B. & LO VALVO, M. 1986. Biometrical and biological considerations on the Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea. NATO ASI Series 12: 293-313.

MÜLLER, M.S., MASSA, B., PHILLIPS, R.A. & DELL'OMO, G. 2014.  Individual consistency and sex differences in migration strategies of Scopoli's shearwaters Calonectris diomedea despite year differences. Current Zoology 60: 631-641.

PORTER, R., NEWELL, D., MARR, T. & JOLLIFFE, R. 1997. Identification of Cape Verde Shearwater. Birding World 10: 222-228.

REYES-GONZÁLEZ, J.M., ZAJKOVÁ, Z., MORERA-PUJOL, V., DE FELIPE, F., MILITÃO, T., DELL'ARICCIA, G., RAMOS, R., IGUAL, J.M., ARCOS, J.M. & GONZÁLEZ-SOLÍS, J. 2017. Migración y Ecología Espacial de las Poblaciones Españolas de Pardela cenicienta. Monografía nº 3 del programa Migra. Madrid, Spain: SEO/BirdLife.

RISTOW, D., BERTHOLD, P., HASHMI, D. & QUERNER, U. 2000. Satellite tracking of Cory's Shearwater migration. The Condor 102: 696-699.

ROBB, M., MULLARNEY, K.M. & THE SOUND APPROACH. 2008. Petrels Night and Day. Dorset, UK: The Sound Approach.

SPEAR, L.B. & AINLEY, D.G. 1997a. Flight behaviour of seabirds in relation to wind direction and wing morphology. Ibis 139: 221-233.

SPEAR, L.B. & AINLEY, D.G. 1997b. Flight speed of seabirds in relation to wind speed and direction. Ibis 139: 234-251.

THIBAULT, J.-C., BRETAGNOLLE, V. & RABOUAM, C. 1997. Calonectris diomedea Cory's Shearwater. BWP Update 1: 75-98.

© Marine Ornithology 2022