How to identify

The Sooty Shearwater is a seabird that's smaller than a Herring Gull. It's a large shearwater, with dark brown body and brown 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 they move down into UK waters on their return to the southern ocean to breed.


  1. Resident
  2. Passage
  3. Summer
  4. Winter
* This map is intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

Key facts

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