Manx shearwater in flight over water (c) Shane Jones

Manx shearwater

Manx shearwaters are daredevil fliers when out at sea. Skimming along the troughs of waves with rapid stiff-winged flaps, they fly so low that their wingtips almost touch the water. Little wonder they're called shearwaters as they pull off spectacular banking and 'shearing' manoeuvers. It may come as no surprise that there was once a large colony of Manx shearwaters on the Isle of Man. Though devastated by introduced rats, this colony is once again on the increase. These brilliant fliers are also excellent swimmers, but dreadful walkers - only coming on to land to breed. Their cackling calls make a breeding colony a very noisy affair.

See a summer’s seabird ‘city’ spectacular.

Scientific name: Puffinus puffinus

Rank: Species

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The Manx shearwater can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Manx shearwater distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

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