Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)


French: Puffin des Anglais German: Atlantiksturmtaucher Spanish: Pardela pichoneta

Procellaria puffinus


, 1764,

Faeroes and Norway


Closely allied to P. yelkouan and P. mauretanicus. In past, these and P. gavia, P. huttoni, P. opisthomelas and P. auricularis were all considered races of present species. Monotypic.


Atlantic Ocean, breeding in N Atlantic on islets off Newfoundland (Canada) and Massachusetts (NE USA), S Iceland S through Faeroes and British Is to NW France, also from Azores through Madeira and Desertas Is to Canary Is.

Descriptive notes

30–38 cm; 350–575 g; wingspan 75–89 cm. Rather small, contrasting blackish-and-white shearwater with long thin bill. Cap to upper ear-coverts,... read more


Vocalizations given both from ground (including within burrows) and in flight, moaning and wailing... read more


Marine, occurring mainly on waters over continental shelf. Breeds on coastal or offshore islands or... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly small shoaling fish (Clupea harengus, Sprattus sprattus, Ammodytes marinus) also some squid, crustaceans... read more


Starts Mar, with return to colony, followed by 2–3-week pre-laying exodus (females alone, which move S & SW during this period)... read more


Transequatorial migrant, travelling rapidly southwards between Sept and Oct, and returning in Mar,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Has recently colonized islets in NW Atlantic, in S Newfoundland (breeding confirmed 1977), Maine (2009) and Massachusetts (1973), but... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 9 April 2020).