Medium-sized seabird (approx 38 cm or 15 in) with an also medium wingspan (approx 93 cm or 36.5 in). Similar to a small gull and smaller than other shearwaters. Dark brown, almost chocolate, upperparts and lighter underparts, in cream tone. Dark tail and external edge of the wings. Dark brown throat, armpits and anal area. Black and thin bill, small head. Black legs that stand out in flight. Flight always close to the sheet of water. Chubby silhouette. Fast fluttering sequences.
Pelagic species. It lives on the high seas but approaches the coast more than other shearwaters.
Wintering bird and present in passage on the coast of Malaga. It breeds only in the Balearic Islands (endemic species). Nest in rocky cliffs, in galleries. Layings of one single egg. It visits the nest at night and feeds on fish, crustaceans, cephalopods and other small marine animals that it captures through small dives or pecking on the surface of the water.
Species difficult to see, especially close. It can be watched in passage from Punta de Calaburras and points of the western littoral. The best option is to see it at sea from a boat.
The common name in Spanish for shearwaters is "pardelas", which comes from "pardo" ("brown" in Spanish), due to their plumage, in general of brown colour. Although the breeding colony is in the Balearic Islands, the Balearic shearwater travels throughout the Mediterranean and gets to move, always along the coast, to the Atlantic and the Bay of Biscay. For this reason it can be seen on the Coastal Path.