Order: Procellariiformes Family: Procellariidae Status: Vagrant to Madeira
This seabird is normally seen during its migration southwards between mid of August and mid September, on the following sea trips:
Zino’s Petrel Pelagic Expedition
Bird, dolphin and whale watching trip
Large, fairly heavily built shearwater with long and thin bill.
This seabird is dark-brown on the upperparts and white on the underparts. Its neck is white contrasting with its distinctive dark cap that looks black at sea. It shows some darkish stains on the underwings.
Puffinus gravis has a strong flight with quick beats with wings held stiffly and not bowed.
Great shearwaters are pelagic birds and non breeding visitors from South Atlantic, spending most of the northern summer mainly in the NW Atlantic (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
When seen flying far it might seem like Cory’s shearwater though at close range its distinct dark cap and white nape are good features to distinguish Great shearwater from Cory’s.
Wingspan: 108 - 116 cm (Howell, 2012)
Total length: 45 - 49 cm (Howell, 2012)
Seasonality in Madeira: In Madeira it is usually observed in August and September
Breeding: Returns to its colonies (in South Atlantic) from September onwards, laying the egg by November with juveniles fledging by May (Harrison, 1985)
Madeira local status by Correia-Fagundes et al, 2021: Seasonal
Madeira local status by Romano et al, 2010: Seasonal vagrant bird
Madeira local status by Zino et al, 1995: Occasional vagrant bird
Conservation status by the IUCN Red List Categories, 2013: Least Concern ver 3.1
Portuguese: Pardela-de-barrete, Pardela-de-bico-preto, bobo-grande-de-sobre-branco
German: Großer Sturmtaucher
Dutch: Grote Pijlstormvogel
Swedish: Större lira
Spanish: Pardela Capirotada
French: Puffin majeur
Italian: Berta dell'Atlantico
Polish: Burzyk wielki
Slovak: Víchrovník atlantický
Czech: Buřňák velký
English synonyms: Greater Shearwater
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