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Overview

Distribution

Caribbean; North America
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Range Description

The Manx Shearwater breeds in the north Atlantic, with major colonies on the Atlantic coasts of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Colonies are also present on Iceland, islets off Massachusetts (USA) and Newfoundland (Canada), as well as on the Azores, Portugal and the Canary Islands, Spain. It undegoes transequatorial migration, expanding the range in winter to include the Atlantic coast of South America below the equator and the south-west coast of South Africa1.

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS in North Atlantic on islands off Newfoundland and Massachusetts (Penikese Island), and from Iceland and the Faroe and Shetland islands south around most of British Isles to western France, in Madeira and Azores, around much of Mediterranean; formerly Bermuda. See Storey and Lien (1985) for account of first North American breeding colony (Newfoundland). RANGES at sea in Atlantic from breeding grounds south to Argentina and southern Africa, rarely to Australian and New Zealand region (Sibley and Monroe 1990). See Buckley and Buckley (1984) for a discussion of status in the eastern U.S.

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Range

Breeds n Atlantic; ranges to Argentina and s African waters.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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North Atlantic; North America, Iceland, to north of Scandinavian countries. South to eastern South America, and to southern tip of South Africa.
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 34 cm

Weight: 453 grams

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Length: 30-38 cm, Wingspan: 76-89 cm
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Diagnostic Description

In the northeastern Pacific, distinguished from similar species by the all-white undertail coverts, decidedly short tail, whiter underwings, and distinctive crescent-shaped "ear-surround" facial pattern--if good views can be obtained (Roberson, 1996, Birding 28(1):18-33).

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This marine species is mainly found on waters over the continental shelf, feeding mainly on small shoaling fish but also on some squid, crustaceans and offal. Prey is caught mainly by pursuit-plunging and pursuit-diving, either alone or in small flocks. Breeding starts in March, forming colonies on coastal or offshore islands, nesting in burrows (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Comments: Pelagic. Eggs are laid in burrows on turfy islands, on cliffs of rocky islands, and occasionally inland in mountainous regions (AOU 1983). Both sexes dig new burrow or refashion old one (Terres 1980).

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Depth range based on 35136 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 16259 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 0.625 - 28.632
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.038 - 10.807
  Salinity (PPS): 30.572 - 36.728
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.637 - 8.121
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.043 - 0.809
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.565 - 7.273

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 0.625 - 28.632

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.038 - 10.807

Salinity (PPS): 30.572 - 36.728

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.637 - 8.121

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.043 - 0.809

Silicate (umol/l): 0.565 - 7.273
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Open ocean and islands.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Migrates between breeding and nonbreeding areas.

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Breeds in northern hemisphere, travels to southern hemisphere for winter.
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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats small fishes, crustaceans, and squids, for which it sometimes swims underwater for short distances; may dive into water (Terres 1980).

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Small fish mainly, also squid and crustaceans.
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / associate
fruitbody of Trechispora clancularis is associated with occupied burrow of Puffinus puffinus

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Population Biology

Global Abundance

>1,000,000 individuals

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Evidently active at sea at any hour but often rests on water in late afternoon (Palmer 1962).

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 49.7 years (wild) Observations: Maximum longevity from banding studies is 49.7 years (http://www.euring.org/data_and_codes/longevity.htm). There are also anecdotal reports, which could be true, of animals living over 50 years.
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Reproduction

Eggs are laid usually in April-May. Clutch size is 1. Incubation averages 51-53 days, by both sexes, change-over every 2-16 days. Parents desert young at about 60 days. Young first fly and depart nesting area at 70-75 days. Usually nests colonially.

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First breeds around 5-6 years old. Nests in burrows among colonies on islands. 1 egg, incubated by both partners for 47-55 days. Young hatchling is fed by both parents. Young shearwater leaves nest after about 68 days.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Puffinus puffinus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNAGCCTACTCATCCGTGCAGAACTCGGTCAACCCGGGACGCTCCTAGGTGATGATCAAATCTACAATGTAATTGTCACCGCCCATGCATTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCCGTCATAATTGGAGGATTCGGAAACTGACTAGTTCCCCTCATAATCGGTGCCCCTGACATAGCATTTCCACGTATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGATTACTACCCCCATCCTTTCTCCTCCTATTAGCCTCATCTACAGTAGAAGCAGGAGCAGGCACAGGATGGACCGTATATCCCCCTCTAGCCGGCAACTTGGCTCATGCTGGAGCCTCAGTCGACCTAGCTATCTTCTCTCTTCATCTAGCAGGTGTATCCTCCATCCTAGGGGCAATCAACTTCATTACAACAGCCATCAACATAAAACCCCCAGCCCTATCACAATATCAAACCCCCCTATTCGTATGGTCCGTGCTCATTACTGCCGTCCTACTCCTACTCTCACTCCCAGTCCTCGCTGCAGGAATCACTATACTACTAACAGACCGAAATCTAAACACTACATTCTTTGNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Puffinus puffinus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N3B,N5N : N3B: Vulnerable - Breeding, N5N: Secure - Nonbreeding

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N1B - Critically Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status in Egypt

Regular passage visitor and winter visitor.

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No official conservation status.
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Population

Population
In Europe (which covers >95% of the breeding range), the breeding population is estimated to be 350,000-390,000 breeding pairs, equating to 1,050,000-1,170,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Brooke (2004) also estimated the global population to be at least 1,000,000 individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Wikipedia

Manx shearwater

The Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) is a medium-sized shearwater in the seabird family Procellariidae. The scientific name of this species records a name shift: Manx shearwaters were called Manks puffins in the 17th century. Puffin is an Anglo-Norman word (Middle English pophyn) for the cured carcasses of nestling shearwaters. The Atlantic puffin acquired the name much later, possibly because of its similar nesting habits.

Taxonomy[edit]

The shearwaters form part of the Procellariidae family, a widespread group containing nearly 100 species of medium to large seabirds. They have long, narrow wings and the characteristic “tubenose”.[2] The large genus Puffinus includes several species formerly considered to be subspecies of the Manx Shearwater, including the yelkouan shearwater, Balearic shearwater, Hutton's shearwater, black-vented shearwater, fluttering shearwater,[3] Townsend's shearwater and the Hawaiian shearwater.[4][5] Of these, the Hawaiian and possibly Townsend's shearwaters seem to be most closely related to the Manx shearwater.[4]

Three extinct species appear to be closely related to the Manx shearwater, the lava shearwater,[6] the dune shearwater and Scarlett's shearwater.[7][8] DNA recovered from the lava shearwater of the Canary Islands suggests that it is the Manx shearwater’s sister species despite being significantly smaller.[9]

The Manx shearwater was first described by Danish zoologist Morten Thrane Brünnich as Procellaria puffinus in 1764.[3][10] The current scientific name Puffinus derives from "puffin" and its variants, such as poffin, pophyn and puffing,[11] which referred to the cured carcass of the fat nestling of the shearwater, a former delicacy.[12] The original usage dates from at least 1337, but from as early as 1678 the term gradually came to be used for another seabird, the Atlantic Puffin.[11] The current English name was first recorded in 1835 and refers to the former nesting of this species on the Isle of Man.[13]

Description[edit]

Flying in Iceland

The Manx shearwater is 30–38 cm (12–15 in) with a 76–89 cm (30–35 in) wingspan and weighs 350–575 g (12.3–20.3 oz).[3] It has the typically "shearing" flight of the genus, dipping from side to side on stiff wings with few wingbeats, the wingtips almost touching the water. This bird looks like a flying cross, with its wing held at right angles to the body, and it changes from black to white as the black upperparts and white undersides are alternately exposed as it travels low over the sea.

Voice[edit]

This shearwater is mainly silent at sea, even when birds are gathered off the breeding colonies. It calls on its nocturnal visits to the nesting burrows in flight, on the ground and in the burrows, although moonlight depresses the amount of calling. The vocalisations largely consists of a raucous series of croons, howls and screams, typically in groups of 4–5 syllables which become weaker and throatier. The male has some clear ringing and shrieking tones absent from the harsher repertoire of the female, the difference being obvious when a pair duets. Females can recognise the voice of their mate, but not of their young.[3][14] They do not provide post-nesting care, and it is likely that a chick in the burrow is their own, so there is no need for voice identification.[15]

Vision[edit]

Each retina of the Manx shearwater has one fovea and an elongated strip of high photoreceptor density. The pecten has many blood vessels and appears to keep the retina supplied with nutrients.[16]

The vision of the Manx shearwater has a number of adaptations to its way of life. Like other tubenosed seabirds it has a long narrow area of visual sensitivity containing the fovea across the retina of the eye.[17] This region is characterised by the presence of ganglion cells which are regularly arrayed and larger than those found in the rest of the retina. This feature helps in the detection of items in a small area projecting below and around the bill. It may assist in the detection of prey near the sea surface as a bird flies low over it.[18]

Since it visits its breeding colonies at night, a shearwater has adaptations for nocturnal vision too. In the shearwater's eyes the lens does most of the bending of light necessary to produce a focused image on the retina. The cornea, the outer covering of the eye, is relative flat and so of low refractive power. In a diurnal bird like a pigeon, the reverse is true; the cornea is highly curved and is the principal refractive component. The ration of refraction by the lens to that by the cornea is 1.6 for the shearwater and 0.4 for the pigeon. The shorter focal length of shearwater eyes give them a smaller, but brighter, image than is the case for pigeons. Although the Manx shearwater has adaptations for night vision, the effect is small, and it is likely that these birds also use smell and hearing to locate their nests.[19]

Range and habitat[edit]

The Manx shearwater is entirely marine, typically flying within 10 m (30 ft) of the sea surface. It nests in burrows on small islands which it visits only at night.[14] Its nesting colonies are in the north Atlantic Ocean in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, France, the Channel Islands, the Azores, Canary Islands and Madeira. The most important colonies, with a total of more than 300,000 pairs, are on islands off Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Three-quarters of the British and Irish birds breed on just three islands; Skomer, Skokholm and Rùm. Around 7000–9000 pairs breed in in Iceland with at least 15,000 pairs on the Faeroes. Other populations are of at most a few hundred pairs. The north east of North America has recently been colonised from Newfoundland and Labrador to Massachusetts; although breeding was first recorded in 1973, populations remain small. Records in the northeast Pacific are increasing, and breeding has been suspected in British Columbia and Alaska.[3][20]>

The breeding colonies are deserted from July to March when the birds migrate to the south Atlantic, wintering mainly off Brazil and Argentina with smaller numbers off southwest South Africa.[21] The journey south can be over 10,000 km (6,000 mi),[22] so a 50-year-old bird has probably covered over a million km (600,000 mi) on migration alone. The migration also appears to be quite complex, containing many stopovers and foraging zones throughout the Atlantic Ocean.[23] Ornithologist Chris Mead estimated that a bird ringed in 1957 when aged about five years and still breeding on Bardsey Island off Wales in April 2002 had flown over 8 million km (5 million mi) in total during its 50-year life.[24]

Manx shearwaters are able to fly directly back to their burrows when released hundreds of kilometres away, even inland.[25] They are able to detect the Earth's magnetic field and hence navigate back to their colonies. The details of how birds interpret the magnetic data are not fully understood, but tiny crystals of magnetite around the eye are involved in detecting the field.[26]

In flight

Behaviour[edit]

Manx shearwaters are long-lived birds. A Manx shearwater breeding on Copeland Island, Northern Ireland, was as of 2003/04 the oldest known living wild bird in the world: ringed as an adult (at least 5 years old) in July 1953, it was retrapped in July 2003, at least 55 years old.[citation needed]

This is a gregarious species, which can be seen in large numbers from boats or headlands, especially on migration in autumn. It is silent at sea, but at night the breeding colonies are alive with raucous cackling calls.

Breeding[edit]

Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

Although shearwaters return to the breeding colonies from March onwards, the females often then leave again for a two or three weeks before egg-laying in early May. Males return to the colonies in which they were hatched, but up to half of females may move elsewhere. The nest is a burrow, often previously excavated by a European rabbit, although shearwaters can dig their own holes. Suitable holes under rocks may also be used. The burrows may be reused in subsequent years.[3]

The single white egg averages 61 x 42  mm (2.4 x 1.7 in) and weighs 57 g (2.0 oz) of which 7% is shell.[27]

Food and feeding[edit]

The Manx shearwater feeds on small fish, such as herrings, sprats and sand eels), crustaceans, cephalopods and surface offal. The bird catches food off the surface or by pursuit diving, and forages alone or in small flocks. It can be attracted by feeding cetaceans, but rarely follows boats or associates with other shearwater species.[3]

Tubenosed seabirds can detect food items at a distance of several tens of kilometres using their sense of smell to detect offal and compounds such as dimethyl sulfoxide produced when phytoplankton is consumed by krill. They track across the wind until they find a scent and then follow it upwind to its origin.[28]

Predators and parasites[edit]

Because of their lack of mobility on land, Manx shearwaters are vulnerable to attack by large gulls, such as the great black-backed gull,[29] and great skua.[30] Birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon and golden eagle are also recored as killing adult birds.[31]

Rats and cats are a serious problem where they are present; the large shearwater colony on the Calf of Man was destroyed by rats which arrived from a shipwreck.[32]European hedgehogs eat the eggs of nesting seabirds where they have been introduced.[30] Red deer have been recorded killing and eating young shearwaters on at least Foula, Skokholm and Rùm; on the latter island,4 percent of the chicks are killed by deer, and sheep have also been involved.[33] The reason for the this carnivorous behaviour is thought to be a need for extra calcium.[34]

Manx Shearwaters frequently carry feather lice (Mallophaga) most of which either the feather-eatiers in the groups ischnocera, or Amblycera which also consume blood. The commonest are the Ischnocerans Halipeurus diversus and Trabeculus aviator. The nests of breeding birds frequently contain the shearwater flea Ornithopsylla laetitiae is also commonly present, which shares a common ancestry with North American rabbit fleas.[35] Where their burrows are near those of Atlantic puffins, the tick Ixodes uriae is common.[36] The mite Neotrombicula autumnalis is often present, and has been implicated in spreading puffinosis.[36] Puffinosis is a virus disease of in which young birds get blisters on their feet, conjunctivitis and problems with movement. The death rate can reach 70% in infected birds.[37][38] Internal parasites include the tapeworm Tetrabothrius cylindricus.[39]

Status[edit]

The European population of the Manx shearwater has been estimated at 350,000–390,000 breeding pairs or 1,050,000–1,700,000 individual birds and makes up 95% of the world total numbers. Although this species' population now appears to be declining, the decrease is not rapid or large enough to trigger conservation vulnerability criteria. Given its high numbers, this shearwater is therefore classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being of Least Concern.[1]

In the north of its range, numbers are stable and the range is expanding, but human activities are affecting populations in the Macaronesian islands. These include birds stranded when dazzled by artificial lighting. 1000–5000 chicks a year are legally taken for food in the Faroes. Introduced mammals are a problem, although populations can recover when rats and cats are removed from islands. Rabbits may try to occupy burrows, but also dig new tunnels.[3]

In culture[edit]

The large chicks of the Manx shearwater are very rich in oil from their fish diet and have been eaten since prehistoric times. They are easily extricated from their burrows, and the annual crop from the Calf of Man may have been as high as 10,000 birds per year in the seventeenth century. The young birds were also eaten in Ireland, Scotland and the Scottish islands.[40]

The eerie nocturnal cries of nesting shearwaters and petrels has led to associations with the supernatural. The breeding colonies at Trollaval on Rùm and Trøllanes and Trøllhøvdi in the Faroe Islands are believed to have acquired their troll associations from the night-time clamour.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Puffinus puffinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Hoyo, Josep del; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi; Christie, David A; de Juana, Eduardo (eds.) (2013). "Procellariidae: Petrels, Shearwaters". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 14 December 2014.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Hoyo, Josep del; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi; Christie, David A; de Juana, Eduardo (eds.) (2013). "Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 11 October 2014.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Austin, Jeremy J; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Pasquet, Eric (2004). "A global molecular phylogeny of the small Puffinus shearwaters and implications for systematics of the Little-Audubon's Shearwater complex". Auk 121 (3): 847–864. 
  5. ^ Murphy, Robert Cushman (1952). "The Manx Shearwater, Puffinus puffinus, as a species of world-wide distribution". American Museum Novitates 1586: 1–21. 
  6. ^ Rando, J C; Alcover, J A (2008). "Evidence for a second western Palaearctic seabird extinction during the last Millennium: the Lava Shearwater Puffinus olsoni". Ibis 150 (1): 188–192. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2007.00741.x. 
  7. ^ Rando, Juan Carlos; & Alcover, Josep Antoni. (2009). "On the extinction of the Dune Shearwater (Puffinus holeae) from the Canary Islands". Journal of Ornithology 151 (2): 365–369. doi:10.1007/s10336-009-0463-6. 
  8. ^ Holdaway, R N; Worthy, T H (1994). "A new fossil species of shearwater Puffinus from the Late Quaternary of the South Island, New Zealand, and notes on the biogeography and evolution of the Puffinus gavia superspecies". Emu 94 (3): 201–215. 
  9. ^ Ramirez, O; Illera, J C; Rando, J C; Gonzalez-Solis, J; Alcover, J A; Lalueza-Fox, C (2010). "Ancient DNA of the extinct Lava Shearwater (Puffinus olsoni) from the Canary Islands reveals incipient differentiation within the P. puffinus complex". PLoS ONE: e16072. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016072. 
  10. ^ Brünnich (1764) p. 29.
  11. ^ a b "Puffin". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 December 2014. (subscription required)
  12. ^ Jobling (2010) p. 323.
  13. ^ "Manx". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 December 2014. (subscription required)
  14. ^ a b Snow & Perrins (1998) pp. 51–52.
  15. ^ Brooke (2010) p. 195.
  16. ^ Schematic diagram of retina of right eye, loosely based on Sturkie (1998) p. 6.
  17. ^ Güntürkün, Onur, "Structure and functions of the eye" in Sturkie (1998) pp. 1–18.
  18. ^ Hayes, Brian (1991). "Novel area serving binocular vision in the retinae of procellariiform seabirds". Brain, Behavior and Evolution 37 (2): 79–84. doi:10.1159/000114348. 
  19. ^ Martin, Graham R; Brooke, M de L (1991). "The eye of a procellariiform seabird, the Manx Shearwater, Puffinus puffinus: Visual fields and optical structure". Brain, Behaviour and Evolution 37 (2): 65–78. doi:10.1159/000114347. 
  20. ^ Goettel, Beth (8 September 2009). "Manx Shearwaters decide National Wildlife Refuge is perfect place to raise a chick". U S Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
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  33. ^ Brooke (2010) p. ix.
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  39. ^ Rothschild & Clay (1957) p. 197.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Part of a superspecies complex with P. AURICULARIS, P. OPISTHOMELAS, P. GAVIA, and P. HUTTONI (AOU 1998). P. AURICULARIS (including NEWELLI) and P. OPISTHOMELAS are sometimes included in P. PUFFINUS. Sibley and Monroe (1990) commented that most of the five members of the complex probably should be treated as allospecies of a superspecies.

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