Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Alternative Names: Cape Pigeon; Pied Petrel; Pintado Petrel
Length 38-40cm, Wingspan 81-91cm.
Juvenile and adult are alike.
Circumpolar in Southern Oceans. Breeds on the Antarctic Peninsula and elsewhere in Antarctica, on South Georgia, the South Shetland, South Orkney and South Sandwich Islands, and on Bouvet, Crozet, Kerguelen, Heard, Macquarie, Belleny and Peter First Islands, the Snares, Antipodes, Bounty and Campbell Islands.
Disperses widely across Southern Oceans mainly south of 250S but reaches Equator off western South America and regular off the Galapagos Islands. The most common petrel in southern African seas during the southern winter, common offshore in southern Australian waters April-November and present in New Zealand waters year-round north to Cook Strait.
There are two subspecies, separable at sea in fresh plumage:
Breeds colonially on high inaccessible ledges on islands and Antarctic coasts during August to March, otherwise at sea. Highly gregarious at all times and one of the most frequent follower of ships. Quarrelsome and noisy at fishing vessels and whale carcasses.
Similar to Fulmarus with stiff-winged glides interspersed with rigid wingbeats, high and towering in strong winds. Feeds from surface in bouyant flight and treads water like storm-petrels.
Breeds October-April, varies according to latitude. Nest is a slight scrape on rock ledge or crevice. Single white egg (63 x 43mm), incubated by both sexes for 45-50 days. Chick fledges in about 42 days.
Planktonic crustaceans, cephalopods and small fish. Also scavenges at carcasses and at fishing or whaling vessels.
Voice: Whirring cooo at nest, harsh cackling calls at sea.
 External Links