Breeding Bird Atlas 2 Additional Accounts


Manx Shearwater

Puffinus puffinus

Manx Shearwaters have long been European breeders, with colonies on the Isle of Man (where their namesake, the Manx Gaelic language, was traditionally spoken), Scotland, Wales, Iceland, and the Azores. No one expected to find the species nesting in the Western Atlantic. Then, in 1973, everything changed when Manx Shearwaters were Confirmed breeding on Penikese Island. Unfortunately, by the time of Atlas 2, Manx Shearwaters had not elected to continue breeding in the Bay State, or at least their nesting sites were not found. Birders have time and again noted Manx Shearwaters in recent years flying close to, of loafing in the water off of, Revere Beach in Suffolk County, and rumors and expostulations of potential new colony sites were rampant, yet no nests could be discovered. Given that the adoption of new nest sites by this species is notoriously protracted and often punctuated by a series of “false starts,” this should not be taken to mean that the species will not return one day to nest again.