Pink-footed Shearwater

General description.

The Pink-footed Shearwater is the largest of the shearwaters. A pelegic bird, it is stocky with broad wings, dark brown-gray head and upper parts, and as you might imagine, pink legs and feet. Seen from below, it's white bellied; flight feathers are dark-bordered with mottled gray underwing coverts.

Flight pattern.

The Pink-footed Shearwater glides over the water with stiff wings, listing to one side slicing through the water's surface. It uses quick wing beats to dive and swim underwater after food.

Breeding habits.

This shearwater breeds, exclusively, on Chilean offshore islands. After raising its young, it flies northward, along the Pacific Coast to southern Alaska.

Calls or song.

Mostly silent.

Population and distribution.

The Pink-footed Shearwater is commonly found off the Continental Shelf of the Pacific Ocean, although its breeding habitat makes this bird vulnerable due to the introduction of predator cats and rats. Another reason its numbers have been reduced is the danger microfiliment fishing line poses to the Pink-footed Shearwater.

Nesting habits.

These birds nest in colonies in burrows as long as four feet on forested slopes, and produce one egg.

Similar birds:

Manx Shearwater Photo Manx Shearwater
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