Great Shearwater: Large shearwater with scaled, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, and brown markings on belly. Dark cap contrasts with white face. Tail is dark above with conspicuous white rump band and gray below. Sexes are similar.
Range and Habitat
Great Shearwater: This species breeds on the islands of Tristan de Cunha in the southern Atlantic Ocean. They are migratory, and spend May to early November as a nonbreeding visitor to the north Atlantic and may occur along the Atlantic Coast of North America from Florida to Canada. They may also wander into the Gulf of Mexico. They are pelagic, only coming ashore to breed.
Breeding and Nesting
Great Shearwater: One white egg is laid in a burrow on a grassy slope. Eggs are incubated for 55 days by both parents.
Foraging and Feeding
Great Shearwater: Feeds mainly on small fish and squid. Chases prey underwater by paddling its feet, with wings held partially opened.
Great Shearwater: Gives a low nasal, squealing call when resting on water.
Great Shearwater: Cory's Shearwater is slightly larger and has a yellow bill.