It breeds on islands of Tristan de Cunha (Tristan, Inaccessible and Nightingale) in South Atlantic, reaching the latitude of the Falkland Islands to the south. In April migrate northwards into European waters, Labrador Peninsula, Greenland and the Arctic Circle. There are few records in the Strait of Magellan from individuals reaching its southern limit. They return to the nesting islands in November.
It is a common species in the nesting sites. In North American waters is a transient bird. The world population is estimated at 15,000,000 individuals.