Shearwaters are the ocean birds which belong to a Procellariidae family under genus Puffinus. The family also includes petrels, fulmars and prions. The family holds more than 50 species. Shearwaters can be appeared on all the oceans of world except the frozen once.
All the birds in this family holds plain dull colors (like dirty gray, black or brown) above and white color below. Shearwaters have short feet and webbed toes. They have large hooked beaks and tubular nostrils. Their wings are long and pointed, spanning from 60 to 70cm. Their size ranges in length from 38 to 64 cm.
Shearwaters mostly roam above the open sea and returns to surface only for nesting and breeding. They land on island or on the rocky coasts. They nests in burrows. They lay one chalky white egg in their nest or on the rocky cracks during their breeding season. Shearwaters breeds once in year in the Southern Hemisphere. However in summer and spring season they move to the Northern Hemisphere.
Shearwaters lives mainly on eating squid, fish and similar small marine animals. Some birds dives deep to catch their prey. However, some feed up on eating the scrap by following the ships. Sooty Shearwater is often found following whales to eat the fish troubled by them.
Shearwaters are found on all the oceans except the frozen seas. Many species shearwaters are used for human diet, so they are called as muttonbirds in some countries like Australia and New Zealand. However, the sooty shearwaters from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are also called as muttonbirds.
Shearwaters are long-distance migrants. They can cover the distance of 10,000 km for migrating. They are also one of the long lived birds. A Manx Shearwater is one of the oldest known living birds in the world. It has lived more than 55 years.