New England Seabirds
When and Where
Southern Hemisphere breeder appears in New England waters in late
April and remains into early winter. It is attracted by chumming and follows in
the wake of the boat. Often seen where whales are actively feeding or behind a
fishing boat that is cleaning fish. Can be seen from any New England port and
north into the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence .
||Greater Shearwaters often sit on the water in large flocks of
50 to 100 birds. Often found with gulls.
September to May on two islands in the
Tristan da Cunha group (5+million pairs), and on Gough Island (600,00 - 3
million pairs). Both islands are located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
east and south of Cape Town South Africa. A few pairs on Falkland Islands on
the western side of the Atlantic.(1)(2) For a map and to read more about the
islands that support the breeding colonies see Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island
In April and May, the Greater Shearwater
leaves the breeding grounds and migrates north crossing the ocean to vacation
in the north east Atlantic including the Gulf of Maine where we see large
numbers of them on Stellwagen Bank. Good numbers are also seen in the Gulf of
St. Lawrence and north to Greenland.
In the fall the birds fly east
down the north west coast of Africa and cross the ocean again. This time coming
closer to the coast of Brazil and then back east to the islands. The migration
path is thus a figure eight. (4)
Flies with typical "shearwater flight".
Picks up food from the surface and by making shallow dives from the