Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Cape Verde Shearwater - Calonectris edwardsii
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General Comments This eastern Atlantic species has recently been split from Cory's Shearwater. The Cape Verde Shearwater is known to nest on a handful of islands in the Cape Verde archipelago, off the northwestern coast of Africa. Because a handful of other breeders in this island complex have made their way across the Atlantic to the Gulf Stream waters off North Carolina, it was to be looked for, if not expected (because of a small population estimated at 10,000 pairs), on pelagic trips off our coast in the warmer months. It is noticeably smaller than a Cory's and has a dusky bill color, making it look somewhat intermediate between a Cory's and a Great Shearwater or the smaller Manx Shearwater. The only documented record for North American waters came off the North Carolina coast in 2004.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank GNR
Coastal Plain Accidental, if not casual (and overlooked), offshore visitor. The sole documented record, with multiple photos, is from the Gulf Stream southeast of Hatteras Inlet on 15 Aug 2004* (N. Am. Birds 58:468-473), [Chat 69:29-34 link]. Because of the uncertain taxonomy (not considered a good species until the early 21st Century) and lack of any descriptions and paintings/photos in most field guides, it likely had been seen offshore on previous occasions -- there are a few possible sightings of this species -- and simply passed off as an unidentified shearwater.
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
1/2 *
Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2014-06-08], LeGrand[2012-01-03]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
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