Great Shearwater

Great Shearwater

Great Shearwater

This week sighted travelling and hunting on the sea near the coast of Lands End, Cornwall has been the Great Shearwater.

Taxonomic name: Puffinus gravis.

It is on the endangered birds list under the amber warning, not under any specific danger.

A large bird its length is between 43 – 51cm and a wingspan between 100 – 118cm. It has a brown and black upper-body with pale wing endings giving it a scaled appearance.  And a pale under-body with a dark area on the belly.  It can be spotted by the dark brown cap on its head.

It breeds in the south Atlantic in places like the Falkland islands or Tristan da Cunha. And then comes north for the winter down there, (our summer in Europe).

It is usually seen between July to September. travelling around the coasts of the south west of England or Scotland,  as it is pelagic it does not usually come to shore where it is a very clumsy walker. It can be seen from headlands where the land goes out into the sea a little, such as Cape Cornwall or Pendeen Head.

Food is squid and fish, including diving for scraps off fishing boats and ships.

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Kevin ONeill

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