Skellig birds

Skellig birds 2018-04-20T06:09:06+00:00

The Skelligs both big and small are a haven for many species of birds who return year after year to breed. The small Skellig is the second biggest Gannet colony in the world. Below is the most common birds found on the rocks. The source for this page is wikepedia

The Gannets of Skellig Michael
The scientific name the “Morus”. The Gannets stand out from the crowd with their black and white colour and yellow heads with their long pointed wings and long bills. With a wing span of two metres makes this beautiful creature,Ireland’s largest sea bird.The small Skellig is the second largest colony of Gannets in the world where it is the home to some 32,000 pairs . When you are on a tour with us you will think the small Skelligs is white in color due to the sheer numbers of Gannets perched on the rock..
The Puffin of Skellig Michael
Their Scientific name is Fratercula arctica. However more famously known as the “clowns of the sea” or “sea parrots”. Not only is the Puffin loud in color but in character.  This Sea parrot  posses black back and white underparts, and distinctive black head with large pale cheeks and a tall, flattened, brightly-coloured bill. The makes the Puffin one of the most instantaneously recognizable birds and is without doubt the most favorite of all in our tour around Skellig Michael.
The Arctic Tern of Skellig Michael
Their scientific name Sterna paradisaea. Arctic Terns enjoy a long life which spans thirty years on average. The Arctic Tern is medium-sized bird approximately 33–36 cm (13–15 in) from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. The wingspan is 76–85 cm; weight is 86–127 g (3.0–4.5 oz).
Herring Gull of Skellig Michael
The scientific name Larus argentatus. The  Adults have light grey backs, white under parts, and black wing tips with white ‘mirrors’. Their legs are pink, with webbed feet and they have heavy, slightly hooked bills marked with a red spot. Young birds are mottled brown. These are very common birds on our Skellig Michael Tour
The Razorbill of Skellig Michael
The scientific name Alca torda. There are a pretty large auk 38-43 cm in length, with a 60-69 cm wingspan.The adults are black on their upperparts and white on the breast and belly. The thick black bill has a blunt end. In winter, the black face becomes white.
The Fulmar of Skellig Michael
The scientific name Fulmarus glacialis. The Fulmar look superficially like gulls, but are unrelated, and are in fact petrels. In winter the Fulmars disperse over the sea often following fishing boats from discarded fish scraps. Intruders to the nest are attacked with vile-smelling oil which the Fulmers spit at them.
The Manx Shearwater of Skellig Michael
The scientific name Puffinus puffinus. This bird is 30–38 cm long, with a 76–89 cm wingspan. It has the typically “shearing” flight of the genus, dipping from side to side on stiff wings with few wingbeats, the wingtips almost touching the water. This bird looks like a flying cross, with its wing held at right angles to the body, and it changes from black to white as the black upperparts and white undersides are alternately exposed as it travels low over the sea. The Manx Shearwater does not follow the boats.
The Cormorant of Skellig Michael
The scientific name Phalacrocoracidae. The bird family Phalacrocoracidae or the cormorants is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. They range in size from the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus), at as little as 45 cm (18 in) and 340 g (12 oz), to the Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi), at a maximum size 100 cm (40 in) and 5 kg (11 lb).
The Guillemot of Skellig Michael
Guillemots is the common name for several species of seabird in the auk family (part of the order Charadriiformes). Guillemots breed on inaccessible cliffs on rocket coasts and islands with some colonies containing thousands of birds. In winter, most of them go far out to sea, occasionally inshore in bad weather. Guillemots dive for fish from the surface, they also swim well under water using their wings. They often sit upright on the nesting ledges. You shall see many on our eco tour around the islands.
Skellig Coast Cruises look forward to having you voyage with us.