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Gray Petrel Procellaria cinerea


Gray Petrels have a circumpolar distribution in the Southern Ocean, with breeding colonies found from Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island east through the Indian Ocean to Campbell and Antipodes Island. These bulky bodied petrels are distinctively patterned with their whitish underbody contrasting with the drab gray underwing and upperparts. Nests of the Gray Petrel are found in burrows on islands with steep vegetated slopes. After breeding, Gray Petrels disperse across the Southern Ocean reaching the subtropical zone by following the cold Humboldt and Bengeula Currents. These petrels mostly feed on squid and fish, which they catch by surface seizing and pursuit-plunging. Gray Petrels sometimes feed in large flocks that associate with large marine mammals, and will also follow ships. Although not globally threatened, these birds are susceptible to introduced predators and human disturbance.

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© Ian Sinclair

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

Recommended Citation

Gray Petrel (Procellaria cinerea), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: