14 inches. Medium in size, the body is uniformly black. Its black beak is characteristic of the species. It is hooked at its end and its tubular nostrils open on top of the beak. Even if it looks alike with the one of the Petrels, it is much longer and more slender than the latter. The legs are black. In flight, it seems to glide on the water surface and alternates long levelled flight at short wing beats. Its tail is short and rounded. This shearwater has the darkest underside. On some breeding colonies, the bird returns to the land in the late afternoon.
Breeds in the Marquesas, Gambier, Tuamotu and Rapa but also in Hawaii, in the Line Islands, Phoenix, as well as Pitcairn and Easter Island. Visible in the North and the center of the Pacific Ocean.
Pelagic, its location outside the periods of reproduction is little known. It establishes its colonies on rocky islands, slopes of volcanic islands, remote atolls and coral islands free of rats and cats.
Complaints and groans reminiscent of the cats. The sound is quite similar to that of other puffins (Ardenna pacifica). The call can be emitted in flight or on the ground.
To listen the Christmas Shearwater:
Fish, squid and crustaceans.
Visit its colonies at night or late in the afternoon (In the Gambier for example). Nests on the ground, against rocks, under tree roots or other plant cover. An egg, (60 x 40 mm) is incubated by both sexes for about 55 days. Young leaves the nest at the age of 95 days. Breeds during the austral summer in French Polynesia.
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientifique Name: Puffinus nativitatis Streets, 1877
Kokokoko (Mangareva), upo’a (Tubuai)