The Cory's Shearwater

3 November 2015

“pardela cenicienta”

"pardela cenicienta", "tapagao"


Cory's Shearwater

Calonectris diomedea


Unfortunately,  in particular young animals of the exemplary Canary bird are threatened. The organisation "Amigos de la Pardelas" tries to sustain the bird's population on the archipelago.

From End of February to Beginning of November bizarre Sounds are heard during the Night in some Places on the Island La Palma

It is the time of the Cory Shearwater.

For much of its life the sea birds spend on the open sea of the equatorial and southern Atlantic Ocean.  For reproductive purposes, the migratory birds visit their breeding grounds on the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries.


Their scientific name is Calonectris Diomedea.

In Spanish they are called pardela, pardela cenicienta or tapagao. Tail, neck and legs of the „pardelas“ are short and there are webs between their front toes.

Their body length is 45 to 56cm and they weigh 560 to 730g.

Their long, narrow wings feature a span length of 112 - 126cm, which enables them to glide through the air for hours and hours.  

Adult birds have a light-grey back. The ventral part is white, except the dark edges of the wings. The tip of their beak is black and bends downwards. It is made out of horn-parts.

The elongated nasal cavities serve to eliminate of the salt content, soaked up with the sea water.

By End of May / Beginning of June Female Birds lay their One and Only Egg on a difficult-to-access Place

Many times this happens near the coast or on the cliffs, rock islands but also further inland in the rock shelters of the Barrancos. 


The chick hatches around mid of July, well hidden in a volcanic tube, a rabbit hole or in a rock crevice.

During the day its parents are at the sea hunting for fish, crustaceans and squids.

Later, under cover of nightfall, they return to feed their offspring. This is the time of the bizarre calls resounding through the air.

On La Palma you can watch the Cory Shearwater passing by, for example in the area of Fajana von Barlovento, near Puerto Espíndola and on Playa los Guirres.

For many years, with the aid of thoughtful citizens, many sea birds suffering severe injuries could be rescued.

Although the Cory Shearwater is the exemplary bird of the Canary Islands, its population on the archipelago has alarmingly declined.


Rats, feral cats and also two-legged poachers are accountable as well as many lights dazzling from surrounding villages and coastal towns.

When birds leave the island by mid of October/beginning of November to migrate to South America, particularly young and unexperienced animals are endangered during their first flight.

The large quantity of lights from towns, villages and streets can make them lose their bearings and fall down dazzled to the ground.

gelbschnabelsturmtaucher-amigos-de-las-pardelas-la-palma„Pardelas“ sure are excellent divers, but once they hit the ground they are clumsy and have a hard time to take off again.

That is why they are defenseless towards dog attacks, and towards vehicles overrunning everything as well as when they are abandoned in lonely places at risk of starvation. It is for this reason that volunteer helpers on Gran Canaria founded the "Asociación Amigos de la Pardela cenicienta“.

There is a well established network on the Canary Islands of this voluntary association and from mid of October to end of November friends of the Cory Shearwaters are in action.  

Regulations for night sky protection, which applies in La Palma, not only is a pleasure for the staff of the Astrophysical Institute and enthusiasts of astro-turism, also the Cory Shearwater birds benefit from this law and the dark nights on the Isla Bonita.

"Amigos de las Pardelas"


However, in case you pick up any helpless „pardela“ on La Palma, please pack it in a box, put it on a quiet place and call: 922 43 76 50 or 647 42 13 17.

The bird will then be handed over to people with expertise and eventually will receive veterinary attention, in order to be allocated and released and as soon as possible.

For more information (in Spanish) and photos visit: or follow their Facebook site: "Amigos de las Pardelas".

Photos and parts of the texts are a courtesy of the „Asociación Amigos de la Pardela cenicienta“

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  • Visitor Visitor

    Was aber tun die Jungvögel, die die Helfer an eine Klippe am Strsnd bringen und die dann fliegen?
    Landen diese Vögel bald im Meer?
    Können Sie aus dem Wasser starten?
    Wie können Sie als Jungvögel fressen?
    Oder glaubt man, dass die Elterntiere diese Jungvögel finden??

    Bitte antworten auch an, keine meiner Mailadressen wurden als gültig angesehen

  • Visitor Visitor

    Toll, dass dieser Vogel geschützt wird.

  • Visitor Visitor

    Herrje, sind gestern auf GC angekommen und just fällt uns am Srtand las Burras so ein Vogel buchstäblich vor die Füße.... Hätten wir diese Information vorher gelesen hätte ich reagieren können

  • Visitor Visitor

    Very interesting. We are visiting La Palma and can hear the strange calls of these birds at night as they pass overhead going to the rocks behind. Fabulous!

  • Visitor Visitor

    Ich bin seit langen Jahren immer wieder auf LaPalma und habe mir schließlich hier ein Haus gekauft. Ich freue mich besonders auf die Rufe der Gelbschmanelsturmtaucher am Playa Los Guirres. Dieses Jahr könnte ich sie nicht hören. Sind sie durch das grelle Licht des Kioskos verscheucht worden? Wo gibt es sie noch auf La Palma? Gerne würde ich mich für ihren Schutz engagieren. Und wenn es es mit einer Geldspende ist.

    Viele Grüße und ich freue mich auf Ihre Antwort.
    Regina Walz

  • Visitor Visitor

    Tolle Berichterstattung, aber ich suchte nach einer Erklärung, warum der Gelbschnabelsturmtaucher nun Sepiasturmtaucher benannt wird. Wie ich lese, taucht der Vogel nach kleinen Fischen! Von Sepia habe ich noch nichts gelesen.

  • Visitor Visitor

    Vielen lieben Dank für diesen Artikel!

  • Visitor Visitor

    Ich höre jetzt nachts die Pardelas überm Haus und freue mich darüber. Kenne sie von La Gomera - Valle Gran Rey. Schön, daß Sie hier so ausführlich drüber berichten.
    Franziska Peterthalner, Los Cancajos