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Common Name: Manx Shearwater

Scientific Name: Puffinus puffinus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Procellariiforms

Family: Procellariidae

Genius: Puffinus

Species: P. puffinus


What is a Puffinus puffinus? A Puffinus puffinus also known as the Manx Shearwater is a medium sized seabird in the family Procellariidae. The Manx Shearwater got its name from once breeding on a small island called Isle of Man. Manx meaning, from the Isle of Man.


The coloring of this Shearwater makes them easy to identify. The upper body parts such as the head, neck, and the upper part of the wings are brown/black. The under body parts such as the under part of the wings, throat, and stomach are white. The color pattern of the back, stomach, and breast are solid. Their hooked-shaped bill and eyes is a dark color. The leg color is a pink/gray.



The length of this seabird can range around 30 to 38 cm long with a 76 to 89 cm wingspan. The wings are pointed, straight, and slim. There size is medium, which is 18 to 36 cm tall. They weigh about 453 g. (16 oz ).


This species breeds in the North Atlantic, with big colonies on islands and coastal cliffs around Great Britain and Ireland. During the breeding season there usually found in the United Kingdom on an island called Lundy. Most Manx Shearwater’s migrate to Lundy to breed. They usually start arriving during the months of February and March. They nest in burrows and rock crevices on top of slopes, laying one white egg. The female and male are responsible for taking care of the egg for about 52 to 54 days. The egg is visited only at night to avoid predators such as the large gulls. The baby seabirds are ready to leave the nest in September but stay close to the breeding colony until October.


The Puffinus puffinus searches for food on the surface of the water but also dives to feed on mollusks, selfish, and small fish such as herring, sprat, and sardines. They also feed on crustaceans, cephalopods and surface offal. When they go and search for food they can go individually or in a small group. And it helps when marine mammals and groups of predatory fish push prey up to the surface, which makes feeding for the Manx Shearwater easier.


Author:  Makenna Y.

Date Published: 3/2010


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