Greater Shearwater: Large shearwater, scaled, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, brown markings on belly. Dark cap contrasts with white face. Tail is dark above with conspicuous white rump band and gray below. Dark, hooked bill. Pink legs, feet. Flies on deep wing beats followed by long glide.
Range and Habitat
Greater Shearwater: Breeds on islands of Tristan de Cunha in South Atlantic. Spends May to early November as a nonbreeding visitor to the north Atlantic. Pelagic; only comes ashore to breed.
The Greater Shearwater is also called the Hagdon, the Wandering Shearwater, the Great Shearwater, and the Common Atlantic Shearwater.
It has a unique method of self-defense: it ejects foul-smelling oil from its nostrils.
These birds need a running start to become airborne. They run along the water surface before taking flight.
A group of shearwaters are collectively known as an "improbability" of shearwaters.