Manx shearwater

Puffinus puffinus

What do they look like?

Around the same size as a small gull, the Manx shearwater is black with a white underside. It has straight, stiff wings and flies with a combination of rapid flaps and long glides over the surface of the water. They are members of the petrel family, displaying the characteristic ‘tube’ on top of their black beak.

When can I see them in Scotland?

March – October

Where can I see them in Scotland?

Manx shearwater are summer visitors to some of the northern and western isles of Scotland, nesting offshore in remote locations such as the isle of Rum. They can also be spotted from coastal vantage points during their migration throughout spring and autumn.

Conservation Status:

In the UK, bird species with breeding, passage or wintering populations are assessed by experts and assigned to the Red, Amber or Green lists of conservation concern. Manx Shearwaters are currently an ‘Amber’ listed species.

47-55 days
62-76 days
15 years
Average lifespan

Close-up manx sheerwater
©Lorne Gill