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Includes Scopoli's Shearwater
Length 18" (46 cm), wingspan 44-46" (112-117 cm).
Variation: the two subspecies differ slightly in plumage, with diomedea - (Scopoli's Shearwater) showing a little less black in the hand of the underwing due to white inner webs on the primaries, slightly smaller bill which is a little paler, overall slightly paler; the lesser overall size is not noticeable in the field. The average difference between these two forms is difficult to use because of much individual variation.
 Similar Species
Great Shearwater is about the same size with darker wings and body, smaller bill is black, narrow straight wings, capped appearance, smudgy brown on belly (sometimes faint), and white collar.
Breeds in Atlantic islands south of ca 40 dg N, on islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and on the coast in Iberia. Post-breeding dispersal takes especially birds of subspecies borealis north of the breeding range, for example to northern Europe and to western Atlantic. Winter is spent at sea, most birds migrate to the south Atlantic.
Some authorities have split these into two species
Breeds on rocky islands and steep cliffs.
Colonial breeders and ground nesters; 1 egg is laid.
The diet includes molluscs and fish.
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