Manx Shearwater

Puffinus puffinus

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One of the most special seabirds to be found breeding on the Isles of Scilly, one of only two locations in England where breeding colonies can be found. As they are a species of seabird that breed in underground burrows, they are at direct risk from nest predation by rats that have established on islands from shipwrecks. They spend the majority of the day out at sea feeding, returning to their nests under the cover of darkness so as to avoid predation by predators such as the great black-backed gull. You can hear their eery call if you find yourself out around the coast of a night.

The Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project works hard to eradicate rats from the islands so as to protect our seabirds. The breeding season of 2014 heralded fantastic news that our Manx shearwaters had successfully fledged young for the first time in living memory after the project had worked hard at removing rats earlier that year. Hopefully by the end of 2015, the islands of St Agnes and Gugh will officially be announced as rat-free, marking a great milestone for the project.

You can see these amazing birds for yourself throughout the summer time on a number of boat trips that take you out around the islands.

 

Images are copyright of Ed Marshall Wild Images

 

 

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