Small black-and-white shearwater that flies with snappy wingbeats. Pay attention to its face pattern: typically quite dark and smudgy, with white curling up behind the cheek. Underwing is mostly white, sometimes with dark markings. Flies low to the water with quick wingbeats, almost recalling an alcid; occasionally arcs up high in strong wind. Prefers cooler ocean waters in the North and South Atlantic; rarely seen from land. Rare but seemingly increasing in the Pacific. Found singly or in small flocks, sometimes with other shearwaters. In Caribbean and western Atlantic, most similar to Audubon's Shearwater but shorter-tailed and darker-faced, with white under the tail.