Antarctic Petrel (Thalassoica antartica)


Also known as Antarctic Fulmar


A conspicuous brown and white fulmarine petrel that resembles Cape Petrel. Differs in larger size and less chequered (i.e. more uniform) upperparts. Has a distinctive broad white subterminal bar on the upperwing which contrasts sharply with the darker brown forewing. The white tail lacks dark spots or flecks found in Cape Petrel and has a narrower brown tip. With wear, birds become paler brown overall and develop a whitish or buff hindcollar.

A gregarious, species that often roosts in large congregations, sometimes with other seabirds.

Where and When

Breeds (Oct-Mar) in huge colonies on snow-free cliffs along the coast of the Antarctic continent. Some colonies can be as much as 350 km inland.

Generally confined to the pack-ice zone to about 63 deg. N. Vagrants have occured in South America, South Africa and Australia.

Photographs on the web

Adult, Adult with chick#1, Adult with chick#2. All from the Ardery Island Project Homepage.


Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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