Manx Shearwater

The Manx Shearwater is a medium-sized seabird that is a member of the Procellariidae family. Adults typically measure around 13-16 inches in length, with a wingspan of 33-39 inches. They have a distinctive blackish-grey upper body and white underparts, and their wings are long and pointed with a characteristic ‘shearing’ flight pattern.

Manx Shearwater – Top Left

One of the most distinguishing features of the Manx Shearwater is its long, slender bill, which is black and slightly hooked at the end. They also have dark eyes and a short, stubby tail. Juvenile birds have a more mottled appearance, with brown and white feathers, but their general shape and flight pattern are similar to adults.

Manx Shearwaters are migratory birds that breed on islands around the UK and Ireland, with some populations also found in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic. They spend the winter months in the South Atlantic, with some birds traveling as far as the coast of Brazil. During migration, they can cover impressive distances, with some individuals flying up to 10,000 miles round-trip.

Despite their impressive migratory feats, Manx Shearwaters face a number of threats, particularly from human activities such as overfishing and pollution. Conservation efforts are underway to protect breeding colonies and to reduce the impact of these threats, but much more needs to be done to safeguard the future of this remarkable species.

Overall, the Manx Shearwater is a fascinating and impressive seabird, with distinctive physical features and an incredible migratory range. While their populations face a number of challenges, they continue to captivate birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts around the world.

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