Westland Petrel (Procellaria westlandica)




Separation from White-chinned and Parkinson's Black Petrel in the field is difficult. Size is of limited use because of individual and sex-related variation. According to Palliser (1999) size and shape are essentially identical to White-chinned Petrel. Bill shape and color are critically important. Palliser notes that Westland Petrels (June and September) have a very dark bill tip with the ungues almost entirely black. This is can be seen in his picture taken off Sydney, Australia in June. In his experience, Black Petrels have slightly less black on the tip and in White-chinned Petrel the bill tip is generally pale although some might have a slight dusky tone. As with other members of the group, the yellowish tone to the bill plates varies with age. Alvaro Jaramillo remarks that '.....the bills of Westland Petrels are thicker [than White-chinned Petrel], making them appear shorter than White-chinned Petrels. In particular, the latericorn of Westland Petrels is noticeably wider than that of White-chins. The nasal tubes are also shorter and not as high on Westland, as compared to White-chinned Petrels. This makes the tubes (nostrils) harder to actually see on the Westland Petrel, both in photos and in the field' (Jaramillo, 1999).

Where and When


Photographs on the web

In flight Photo from Tony Palliser's collection.
On water Photo from Tony Palliser's collection.



Tony Palliser (1999) [BIRDWG01] 'black' Procellaria petrels. Posting to NBHC Id-Frontiers on 28 Jan 1999

Alvaro Jaramillo (1999) [BIRDWG01] 'black' Procellaria petrels. Posting to NBHC Id-Frontiers on 27 Jan 1999

Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
Back to the Seabird List Home Page

To the Marine Mammal List Page

To the World's Best Pelagics

Back to the Ocean Wanderers Home Page