Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus Scientific name definitions

Ryan D. Carle, Valentina Colodro, Jonathan Felis, Joshua Adams, and Peter J. Hodum
Version: 2.0 — Published April 9, 2022


Systematics History

The Pink-footed Shearwater is closely related to Flesh-footed Shearwater (Ardenna carneipes) and Great Shearwater (Ardenna gravis) (18, 19). The authors of that study recommended that Ardenna creatopus be considered conspecific with Ardenna carneipes (19), but the two are still maintained as separate species by most authorities (e.g., 20, 21). Pink-footed Shearwater and other closely related species were split from the genus Puffinus and placed in Ardenna by the North American Classification Committee in 2016 (22).

Geographic Variation

Breeding birds from the Juan Fernández Islands are larger and heavier than those from Isla Mocha, with proportionally stouter bills, thicker legs, and shorter tails (1; see Appearance: Measurements). However, a genetic comparison of birds from those two populations found that they were relatively homogeneous, with little genetic structure (23).



Related Species

Based on genetic evidence, the species is most closely related to Flesh-footed Shearwater. Both Pink-footed Shearwater and Flesh-footed Shearwater are also closely related to the Great Shearwater; it has been proposed that these three species have a “super-species relationship” (19). Other related species in the Ardenna clade of large shearwaters include Sooty Shearwater (Ardenna grisea), Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris), Buller's Shearwater (Ardenna bulleri), and Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica).

Fossil History

Little or no fossil evidence. A fragment tarsometatarsus from central Chile, dating to the Pliocene, had similarities to this species but was larger (24). That fossil record was fragmentary and overlapped in size and morphology with several extant species, so it was not assigned to species (24).

Recommended Citation

Carle, R. D., V. Colodro, J. Felis, J. Adams, and P. J. Hodum (2022). Pink-footed Shearwater (Ardenna creatopus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.pifshe.02