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Common name Scopoli's shearwater
Scientific name Calonectris diomedea
Type Seabirds
Status Migrator

Large seabird (approx 56 cm or 22 in) with an also large wingspan (approx 125 cm or 4 ft). Greyish brown upperparts that cover the head up to the eyes. White underparts except for the outer edges of the wings and tail, which are dark in colour. Yellow bill with black tip. Long and flexible wings. The Scopoli's Shearwaters fly, gliding and flapping their wings effortlessly, very close to the surface of the water, almost touching it.


Marine environment

Where it lives

Pelagic species. It lives on the high seas and only touches down during the breeding season. Visible from the coast only during its journeys in search of food

How it lives

Summer species that reproduces in the Mediterranean, although not in Malaga. There is a colony in Chafarinas. It can also be watched in migratory passage. The Scopoli's Shearwater breeds in colonies on rocky islets. Nests in hollows and holes between the rocks, which this seabird visits only at night. One laying from March of a single egg. It feeds on fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. Fishing in flight.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Common species in the coast of Malaga. It can be observed from any point of the coast, especially on the western littoral. Punta de Calaburra, Peñón del Cuervo and Guadalhorce.

Curious facts

The name for this bird, "shearwater", both in Latin and in English, refers to its great "swimming" capacity. Shearwaters, although do not swim, fly so close to the surface that they almost "cut the water" with their wings. This helps them locate their prey. The shearwaters are known in Malaga as "ánimas" ("souls") or "diablos" ("devils"). A very typical behaviour is the formation of "rafts of shearwaters", which are floating groups of shearwaters perched on the water.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration