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Manx Shearwater - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Glen Tepke
Photo taken in Gulf of Maine southeast of Bar Harbor, Maine, USA, 7/26/04.
Puffinus puffinus


34 cm. Blackish or dark brown upper parts, white below, white wing linings, white crescent behind eye, short tail.

Similar Species

Audubon's Shearwater is slightly smaller with shorter less-pointed wings, dark undertail coverts, and white spot near eyes.
Cory's Shearwater is much larger with much lighter brown body and wings, heavy yellow bill and white tail band.
Great Shearwater is much larger with lighter body, smudgy brown belly, neat cap, narrow pointed wings. and white tail band.


Manx Shearwater is known to nest commonly in the eastern North Atlantic, but in 2009, the first confirmed young fledged within the USA, in Maine.



Strictly pelagic when not breeding, usually off-shore rather than oceanic



Glides and banks low over the water on stiff straight wings, with very irregular wingbeats


Nests colonially in burrows on grassy slopes of islands, often at some distance from the sea. Visits burrows after dark


<flashmp3>Puffinus puffinus (song).mp3</flashmp3>
Listen in an external program


Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

External Links