This seabird is characterized by its largely black upperparts and white underparts, and is not unlike the generally more familiar Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus). Approximately ten subspecies of the Audubon’s Shearwater are generally recognized distributed throughout much of the world’s tropical oceans. However, their taxonomy is heavily debated, and considerable systematic rearrangements can be expected through additional study, especially using vocal and molecular research. Two subspecies occur in the Neotropics, both in the Caribbean region, with a third in the Galápagos now recognized at species level, Galapagos Shearwater (Puffinus subalaris). The latter population is distinctly unusual in that the birds are strictly diurnal, never flying around their colonies by night.