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Southern Giant-Petrel Macronectes giganteus


The Southern Giant-Petrel is, as the name implies, the southern half of the giant-petrel superspecies. Both species are broadly sympatric over much of the Southern Oceans but the Southern Giant-Petrel is the more Antarctic of the two species. It breeds primarily in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well as coastal extreme southern South America and Antarctica. The largest members of their family, Procellariidae, the giant-petrels are behaviorally distinct. They feed primarily on carrion for which they scavenge by plying the near shore waters of Southern Ocean coastlines searching for seal and penguin carcasses that have been washed ashore. Generally the larger of the two species, the Southern Giant-Petrel has two distinct color morphs, dark and white, the white morph accounting for up to 15% of some breeding populations.

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© Emiliano Depino

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Southern Giant-Petrel (Macronectes giganteus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: