Cory's Shearwater

Calonectris borealis (Cory, 1881) CQ CORSH 35970
Family: Procellariiformes > Procellariidae

This large brown and white shearwater, with its languid flight, visits our waters during the late summer months.

Cory’s Shearwaters breed across the Atlantic archipelagos; the Azores, Canaries, Salvagems and Berlengas all have breeding colonies. Birds start to leave these colonies during August, with many heading for the Bay of Biscay. Cory’s Shearwaters occur in our waters in varying numbers between years; in some a few thousand might be seen whilst in others hardly any at all. In years when large numbers occur in the Bay of Biscay some birds head further north and are responsible for increased sightings around our coasts.

Cory’s Shearwaters spend the winter off the coasts of South America and South Africa before returning to their breeding colonies during March.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Cory's Shearwater

  • Breeding
  • Winter
3.4k records observations recorded by BTO surveyors
3.4k records



Cory's Shearwater identification is sometimes difficult.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Cory's Shearwater, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


Cory's Shearwaters are recorded mostly from the coastline of southwest England but there are annual records from select sites along the North Sea coast.

Cory's Shearwater winter distribution 2008-11
Britain and Ireland Winter Distribution 2008-2011.
More from the Atlas Mapstore.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


This vagrant is too rarely reported to map distribution change.


Cory's Shearwater is a scarce passage seabird recorded at selected seawatching locations, mostly in July and August.

Weekly occurence of Cory's Shearwater from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about Cory's Shearwater, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report


Sample sizes are too small to report Biometrics for this species.

Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Aderyn Drycin Cory
Catalan: baldriga de Cory
Danish: Atlantisk Skråpe
Dutch: Kuhls Pijlstormvogel
Estonian: portugali tormilind
French: Puffin cendré
German: Corysturmtaucher
Irish: Cánóg Cory
Italian: Berta maggiore atlantica
Polish: burzyk duzy
Portuguese: cagarra-grande / cagarro-dos-açores
Slovak: víchrovník žltozobý
Spanish: Pardela cenicienta canaria
Swedish: gulnäbbad lira

Links to more information from

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