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Tuatara: Volume 21, Issues 1 and 2 (New Zealand Albatrosses and Petrels: an Identification Guide)

19. Kerguelen Petrel — (Pterodroma brevirostris) — Plate 8

page 34

19. Kerguelen Petrel
(Pterodroma brevirostris)
Plate 8

Field Characters: 82/35. A medium-sized, dark brown gadfly petrel with long pointed wings, short body and conspicuous, large, rounded head. Tail short, appearing pointed when not spread. In sunny conditions the sheenlike properties of the plumage sometimes give the appearance of silvery patches on head, body and underwing.

Bill and feet black.

The prolonged gliding, high above the surface of the sea, is distinctive of this petrel and serves to differentiate it from dark shearwaters and other gadfly petrels.

A summer breeder on subantarctic islands of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Regular winter visitor to Tasman Sea and South Pacific.