Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
THE MANKS SHEARWATER.
PUFFINUS ANGLORUM, Ray.
Although I have procured this species to the westward of the banks of
Newfoundland, or between their soundings and the American coast, I am unable to
say any thing of importance respecting its habits as observed by myself. This
species formerly inhabited a small islet close to the Isle of Man, but appears
to have now entirely deserted it. In the Orkneys, however, it is still
abundant, and the eggs and young are in much request there. It arrives in
March, and, when the young are able to fly, betakes itself to the open sea,
disappearing towards the approach of winter. The British writers who have
described it inform us, that it stands nearly erect, flies with great rapidity,
feeds on marine animal substances of all kinds, and, when taken, squirts out an
oily fluid from its nostrils in the manner of the Petrels. It is said to breed
in burrows, and to lay only a single egg, of a white colour and elliptical form,
about the size of that of a domestic fowl.
PUFFINUS ANGLORUM, Bonap. Syn., p. 371.
SHEARWATER PETREL, Nutt. Man., vol. ii. p. 336.
MANKS SHEARWATER, Puffinus anglorum, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. iii. p. 604.
Adult, 15, 32.
Not uncommon off the coast of Maine during summer. Breeds on Sable Island,
off Nova Scotia. Ranges, at times, to great distances seaward.
Bill about the length of the head, rather slender, a little compressed,
straightish, the tips curved. Upper mandible with the dorsal line convex, and
sloping at the base, afterwards slightly concave, on the unguis curved, the
ridge broadly convex, narrowed toward the end, the sides convex, the edges sharp
and slightly inflected; the unguis stout, curved, rather acute. Nostrils
tubular, approximated, dorsal; the narrow nasal groove extending to the unguis.
Lower mandible with the angle very long and narrow, the short dorsal line beyond
it decurved, the sides convex and sloping inwards, the edges sharp and
Head of moderate size, ovate, narrowed before. Neck of moderate length.
Body elongated. Feet of moderate size; tibia feathered to near the joint;
tarsus compressed, anteriorly and posteriorly sharp, covered all over with
diversiform scales, of which a series in the inner side is scutelliform. Toes
rather long, slender, excepting the first, which is a mere conical knob
principally composed of the claw; anterior toes connected by striated webs, of
which the margin is concave, scutellate above, the third and fourth longest and
about equal. Claws small, compressed, slightly arched, obtuse, that of third
toe with the inner edge a little dilated.
Plumage dense, soft, blended, on the upper parts rather compact. Feathers
of the fore part of the head very short. Wings long, sharp; primaries tapering,
rounded; first longest, the rest regularly graduated; secondaries rather short,
rounded. Tail rounded, of twelve feathers.
Bill deep greenish-black. Iris dark brown. Inner and middle of outer side
of tibia dingy orange, the rest greenish-black, as is the fourth toe and outer
side of the third, the inner side of the latter and the whole of the second
dingy orange; the webs much paler; claws brownish-black. All the upper parts
are brownish-black, the lower white.
Length to end of tail 15 inches, to end of wings 15 1/2, to end of claws
16; extent of wings 32; wing from flexure 9 3/4; tail 3 1/2; bill along the back
1 8/12, along the edge of lower mandible 1 10/12; tarsus 1 11/12; middle toe
1 10/12, its claw 4/12. Weight 15 oz.
The Female is similar to the male.