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CORY’S SHEARWATER } Calonectris diomedea

RANGE: Western Europe

STATUS: BirdLife considers the species Vulnerable due to large declines from 1970 to 1990.

THREATS: Introduced predators (cats, dogs, and rats) that cause breeding failure at some colonies, human harvest of eggs, and habitat loss and disturbance in the Mediterranean from coastal building projects

Cory’s shearwaters breed on rocky islands and cliffs in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, migrating during winter to Africa and South America. They are pelagic birds, meaning they spend most of their time at sea, congregating in large rafts offshore during the day. This species feeds on fish, mollusks, and crustaceans, sometimes diving as much as 50 feet to reach their prey. When at sea, they fly close to the water, alternating wing flaps with long, graceful glides. Cory’s shearwaters only come ashore to breed, and their breeding colonies are noisy, lively affairs. These seabirds are threatened by introduced predators that have learned to stalk the shearwaters’ nesting sites, as well as habitat destruction by humans.

Photo © Glen Tepke