Help us give nature a home from £3 a month.
Birds by name
Conservation status: Amber
The sooty shearwater is a seabird, that is smaller than a herring gull. It is a large shearwater, with dark brown body and wings and long wings. Its bill is dark and when seen close up, there is a pale band along the underneath of the wings. It does not breed in the UK, but makes a huge clockwise migration up the western Atlantic in spring to spend the northern summer in the north Atlantic. Then in summer/autumn it moves down into UK waters on its return to the southern ocean to breed.
Petrels and shearwaters (Procellariidae)
Best looked for from seawatching places in late summer and autumn.
Fish, squid, crustaceans and offal from fishing boats.
* UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. UK wintering is the number of individuals present from October to March. UK passage is the number of individuals passing through on migration in spring and/or autumn.
Please note that the map is only intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.