Tuesday, 30 July 2013

95. Macaronesian Shearwater (Puffinus baroli)

The Macaronesian Shearwater looks like a smaller version of a Manx Shearwater, with shorter, broader, more rounded wings, white extending up from the cheeks around the eye, and a more delicate bill and rounded head, which it sometimes raises in flight. Even the Collins guide describes this bird as cute! It breeds on islands in the north Atlantic such as the Azores, Canaries and Madeira, and is not often seen north of its breeding areas outside of the breeding season. More taxonomical jiggery-pokery here, as some authorities split this into 2 species, the Barolo and Boyd's Shearwater, whereas others consider them conspecific.

Macaronesian Shearwater, ©Rafael Matias, used with permission.
Macaronesian Shearwater sketch.

It was difficult to find good photos of this species, so many thanks to Rafael Matias for giving me permission to use his excellent Macaronesian Shearwater photo! It's funny how when you're drawing, you worry about one bit being wrong and it's actually fairly OK, but you don't realise it's distracted you from the bit you've actually cocked up - I kept thinking I had the bill too short, when I should have been more concerned about the head shape!

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