Manx Shearwater Skulls

These are some of the Manx Shearwater skulls I found on Skomer Island in Wales. When I got home I had to clean them up by pulling off the feathers that were still left on and then putting them in hot water so I could clean up the skull.

If you look at the photos one of the skulls has thinner sections in it, I think this one is a juvenile bird and the skull hasn’t finished growing.

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Skomer Night Boat Trip August 2013

When we were still in Wales we went on a night boat trip to watch the Manx Shearwaters and Puffins come back in to land on Skomer.

It was really fun, I saw loads of puffins some were really close, some had sand eels in their mouths for their young.

When all the Manx Shearwaters come in, they land on the water in groups it is called rafting. They all fly into land when it is dark in big groups, so they don’t get eaten by the gulls.

I loved Wales, there was loads to see, can’t wait to go back.

Cormorant

We went to Thornes beach to look for fossils, I found some fossilized snail shells, turtle shell and crocodile skin.
When we were down the beach I found a dead Cormorant, it was already decomposing, so I took the head and put it in a bag. I have found quite a lot of dead sea birds this year, I don’t know why. When I got home I put it in the garden to finish decomposing, I put a crate over the dead animal so the flies can get in but nothing else can.
The photos show the skull after the flies have finished cleaning it up and I have washed it, I am going to think about whether to clean it up any more.

From the back of the skull to the end of the beak is 15cm.
Its beak is 78mm long.

Cormorants and Shags are like each other to look at, but Cormorants have white under their beak, Shags don’t, they have a black short crest on their head.
Cormorants catch fish in long underwater dives from the surface. It can feed in quiet estuaries and in lakes or rivers.

Nesting: They have a bulky nest made of sticks in trees and on cliff ledges, 3-4 eggs, 1 brood in April-May.
Length: 80-100cm
Wingspan: 1.3-1.6m
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Weight 2-2.5kg