|Irish Name:||Cánóg dhorcha|
|Scientific name:||Sooty Shearwater|
Passage migrant off all Irish coasts between August and November. Commonest off southern and western coasts, with only a few reported annually in the Irish Sea.
Slightly larger than Manx Shearwater. Seen well, Sooty Shearwater is almost unmistakable, appearing all dark with silvery underwings. The body is a warm-brown colour, with the wings a slightly darker brown. In flight, tends to be much quicker than other seabirds, including the larger Gannet. Only likely to be confused with juvenile Gannet (note white rump) or a dark Arctic Skua. Very rarely, Balearic Shearwaters may be as dark as a Sooty Shearwater, but difference in size should be obvious.
Silent on migration.
Like most Shearwaters, this species feeds mainly on fish and squid caught on the open ocean. May also take offal from fishing vessels.
Sooty Shearwaters breeds (November to February) in large colonies on sub-Antarctic islands. It disperses northwards into the Atlantic following breeding and spends the summer off the eastern American seaboard and Greenland.
On the open ocean off Greenland and eastern North America.
Most often seen off Western Seaboard from July to October.
Highly pelagic. Breeds in Southern Hemisphere. Only likely to be seen on dedicated “seawatches” from coastal headlands of the south and west coasts, such as Cape Clear, Galley Head or Annagh Head in County Mayo.