Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus   [Brünnich, 1764]

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Order: Procellariiformes Family: Procellariidae
Number in Britain: 300 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: 2 Concern, most in Europe; Localised
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder
Subspecies: Monotypic
Length: 34 cm Wingspan: 82 cm Weight: M/F: 420 g    
Scientific name from: English: puffin (from puff+ing)
World Distribution: BREEDS: is of n Atlantic, RANGES: Atlantic s to Argentina & rarely Australia
Habitat: Pelagic, breeds in island burrows & on cliffs
Diet: Mostly small fish and squid, also small crustaceans and offal from surface or diving
TitBit: The call of this bird so scared Norse sailors, they thought the Scottish island of Rum was inhabited by trolls. It is the longest lived bird in Britain, with one living at least 55 years.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: JNCC Seabird Monitoring Programme
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 300 thousand Pairs in
    First Record: 1668 [Fossil evidence from early Holocene, up to 10,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Mitchell, P.I. et al. (2004) Seabird populations of Britain and Ireland Poyser, London
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Species of European Concern, Recent Breeding Range Decline (1969-2007), Localised Breeding Population, Important Breeding Population
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 350 to 390 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Summary text from Seabird 2000 (warning: link to large pdf)

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 61 x 42 mm Egg Weight: 57.0 g (of which 7 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 36
Clutch Size: 1 eggs
Incubation: 47- 55 days   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 62 - 76days as: Altricial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.905       
Juvenile Survival: 0.250 (to age 5 )  
Age at First Breeding: 5 years Typical Lifespan: 15 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 50 years 11 months 21 days (set in 2008)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: F or E*
Wing Length Adult: 240.1 ± 4.9 Range 232 - 248 mm, N =1967
Juvenile: 239.0 ± 4.7 231 - 248 mm, N =177
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: 383.1 ± 39.10 Range 330.0 - 455.0 g , N =855
Juvenile: 391.4 ± 48.72 319.0 - 470.0 g , N =560
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Has Included Puffinus mauretanicus
Gaelic: Fachach-bŕn Welsh: Aderyn-Drycin Manaw
Danish: Almindelig skrĺpe Dutch: Noordse pijlstormvogel
Finnish: Pikkuliitäjä French: Puffin des Anglais
German: Schwarzschnabel-Sturmtaucher Hungarian: Bukdosó vészmadár
Icelandic: Skrofa Irish: Cánóg Dhubh
Italian: Berta minore Norwegian: Havlire
Polish: Burzyk pólnocny Portuguese: Pardela-sombria
Spanish: Pardela pichoneta Swedish: Mindre lira

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Brooke, M. 1990 The manx shearwater Poyser, London [598.442 BRO]
   Hamer, K.C. 2004 BWP Update 5:203-213
   Lockley, R.M. 1942 Shearwaters J.M. Dent, London [598.442 LOC]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides