Shearwaters are members of a group of birds known as 'tubenoses' or 'petrels' which also includes giant Albatrosses, Fulmars and tiny Storm Petrels. Manx Shearwaters can be seen gliding low over the waves, their wings beating in shallow and rapid movements. During the spring, they nest in burrows on a small number of islands off the west coast of Britain, leaving in July to migrate to South America for the winter.
How to identify
A medium-sized black and white bird, the Manx Shearwater has long, stiff wings. About the size of a small gull, it is black above and white underneath. It can sometimes be seen in large numbers, particularly in the evening, near their nesting sites.
Where to find it
Nests on rocky islands around the coasts of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Isles of Scilly.
When to find it
How can people help
The survival of our seabirds is threatened by the pollution and degradation of our marine and coastal habitats. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.