It is distributed from northern Europe and North America across the Atlantic Ocean, including the Mediterranean Sea to South Africa and in South America to Brazil. The year 1991 was a record of this species near Cozumel Island, and in 2005 was recorded in Coronados, Baja California. Nest in the Mediterranean, islands of Cape Verde, Azores, Canary Islands and other smaller islands of the Atlantic.
It is considered a common species. The global population is estimated at 600,000 individuals, and the European population is estimated at between 120,000 and 175,000 pairs. The largest colonies are located in the Canary Islands, Spain. On the Atlantic coast (south Texas) is considered rare species but regular.