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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Manx Shearwater: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Manx shearwater facts in this article are interesting.

In this article, we shall be learning about a magnificent seabird that inhibits the northern and southern Atlantic region. This magnificent bird is the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus).

Manx shearwaters spend half of the year (during their breeding season) in the coastal regions of north Atlantic countries and they spend the other half of the year in the eastern coastal region of South America. These birds are mainly black and white in color: their upper body is black and their underbody is white. They have slim long wings and a black beak that is pointed downwards at the end. The Manx shearwater is not included in the IUCN Red List, however, through other various population counts, their conservation status lies under the category of Least Concern.

Ready to learn more interesting and funny facts about the Manx shearwater? If you want to read about more birds, check out these Laysan albatross facts and wandering albatross facts pages.

Manx Shearwater Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Manx shearwater?

The Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) is a seabird species belonging to the family Procellariidae. They inhabit the northern and southern Atlantic oceans.

What class of animal does a Manx shearwater belong to?

Manx shearwaters belong to the class Aves, the order Procellariiformes, the family Procellariidae, and the genus Puffinus. Their binomial nomenclature is Puffinus puffinus.

How many Manx shearwaters are there in the world?

Due to their wide distribution and habitat range, Manx shearwaters are considered as a species of Least Concern. The exact population of these seabirds is unknown.

Where does a Manx shearwater live?

A Manx shearwater lives on land (on islands) at night time, and in the day, they can be spotted flying over the sea surface in search of food.

What is a Manx shearwater's habitat?

Manx shearwaters inhabit the north and the south Atlantic Ocean with a good population count. During the breeding season, they fly to the north Atlantic region such as to the islands of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland. These birds are mostly found in the south Atlantic region on the east coast of South America.

Who does a Manx shearwater live with?

Manx shearwater birds live in groups (almost like a family) to provide protection from predators. These birds are monogamous in nature and in the daytime, these birds roam over the ocean together in large groups in search of food.

How long does a Manx shearwater live?

Manx shearwaters are known for their long life span, living to an average age of 15-20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Manx shearwater is a monogamous bird that breeds with a definite partner (in a breeding pair). In their breeding season, they migrate to their breeding region in the north Atlantic between February and March. They visit their burrows and find their mate. The Manx shearwater nests in burrows and females lay an egg in their respective nesting burrows, which weigh around 2 oz (56 g). After the shearwater young is born, both the parents look after the chick and provide it with food. In the day, both parents leave for the ocean in search of food, and in the night, they travel back to the land to their respective nest to their young. These birds are good parents!

What is their conservation status?

The Manx shearwater species is not listed on the IUCN Red List. However, they are considered as Least Concern species despite the fact that their population is said to be decreasing at the same time.

Manx Shearwater Fun Facts

What do Manx shearwaters look like?

Manx shearwater birds are medium-sized seabirds like the northern fulmar that inhibit the coasts of the north and the south Atlantic Ocean. They have a brown-black upper body and a white-gray lower body with webbed feet like ducks, slim wings, and a black beak. The length range of their body is between 11.8–15 in (30–38 cm) with a wingspan range of 30–35 in (76–89 cm).

Manx shearwater's call is very rough and unpleasant to the ear.

How cute are they?

The Manx shearwater is a medium-sized seabird with a round head, long straight wings, and a beautiful beak. They are extremely adorable and cute.

How do they communicate?

Manx shearwater calls are loud during their nocturnal island visit. However, during the daytime, when on the sea, these birds don't really make any sounds. A Manx shearwater communicates through rough, loud calls and a Manx shearwater call can be a sign of danger for their nests, or their calls are used to help them find their mate during the breeding season.

How big is a Manx shearwater?

Manx shearwaters are medium-sized sea birds that fly over the ocean surface in search of prey. Their length varies between 11.8–15 in (30–38 cm), and their weight is estimated to be between 12.3-21.2 oz (350–600 g) with an average wingspan of 30–35 in (76.2–88.9 cm). If compared to other shearwater species, Manx shearwaters can be considered smaller birds.

How fast can a Manx shearwater fly?

Manx shearwaters are flying machines. During migration only, these birds cover an average distance of 6213.7 mi (10,000 km). It is considered that a Manx shearwater covers millions of kilometers by flying in its whole lifetime. The average Manx shearwater flying speed is around 34 mph (54.7 kph).  They fly near the ocean surface in search of food, but while migrating, they can fly high at a moderate height in the sky too.

How much does a Manx shearwater weigh?

Manx shearwaters are medium-sized sea birds that weigh 12.3-21.2 oz (350–600 g). They are found on the east coast of South America and on north Atlantic islands and countries such as Wales, Scotland, and Bardsey Island. Manx shearwaters are double the weight of a laughing gull.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no big physical difference between a male and female Manx shearwater and there are no special names assigned to males and females.

What would you call a baby Manx shearwater?

Like other baby birds, a baby Manx shearwater is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Manx shearwaters follow a carnivorous diet. Their diet contains small marine animals as they spend their day flying over the ocean surface in a predatory manner in search of fish, shrimps, squids, and small organisms. They return to land with food for their young at night.

Are they poisonous?

Manx shearwater birds are not poisonous at all.

Would they make a good pet?

Manx shearwater birds are migratory seabirds who, during migration, fly from north to south Atlantic regions and vice versa (they breed in the northern Atlantic islands). So naturally, it's not possible to keep them as pets. They are known for their awesome flight, so keeping them confined is never a good idea.

Did you know...

In the year 2003, a shearwater was recaptured, which was first captured in the year 1953 (it was just five years old then). So in 2003, it was around 55 years old. This is known to be the wild bird of this species that has lived the longest.

Where do shearwaters migrate to?

During the months of February and March, a Manx shearwater visits the north Atlantic region to the islands of the United Kingdom and other countries. They spend the whole breeding season in this region. After finding their mate, they shift to their nesting burrows and later lay an egg in that nest.

In the month of July, leaving the nest behind, Manx shearwaters part ways, and their migration journey towards South America begins. After covering thousands of kilometers, they reach the east coast of South America, where they spend the winter. The whole journey begins again next February as the breeding season approaches once again.

How deep can a shearwater dive?

A Manx shearwater being an excellent fisher bird, can dive to a depth of 98.4 ft (30 m) in search of small fish and other prey.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these little spotted kiwi facts and indigo macaw facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Manx shearwater coloring pages.

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