What a treat for us this morning! This is the first Manx Shearwater we have ever seen! In the UK, they breed in burrows on rocky west-coast offshore islands where it is safe from rats and other ground predators, as the birds are clumsy walkers and easy prey on land. This beautiful Shearwater must have been caught up in the recent storms and blown far off course – and coincidentally ended up the garden of a bird enthusiast in Great Wyrley who identified the sea bird and brought it in. Thank you for telling us about our special visitor!
We were so excited and inspired that we did a little research to find out more. Here are five fascinating facts we uncovered:
- The scientific name of the Manx Shearwater is Puffinus Puffinus. In the Middle Ages, young Shearwaters, when taken for food, where known as ‘puffins’ or ‘puffings’ because of their plump and fatty nature (welshwildlife.org)
- The Manx Shearwater is in the same order of birds as the famous Albatross!
- Skomer and Skokholm (islands off west Wales) together make the largest known concentration of this species in the world (welshwildlife.org)
- The oldest recorded Manx Shearwater nested on Bardsey Island in Wales and was more than 50 years old and was estimated to have flown about 5 million miles in its lifetime! (wildlife trusts.org)
- Manx Shearwaters are migrators, and winter off the south coast of Brazil and Argentina, some 6000 – 7000 miles away. They can reach here in just a fortnight! (welshwildlife.org)
Apart from being a long way from home, the Manx Shearwater at 387 Vets looks really healthy and, following advice given by the RSPB, we’re taking him (or her!) to Amerton Wildlife Rescue Centre, where there is already another Manx Shearwater in residence!