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

48. Snow Petrel — (Pagodroma nivea) — Plate Fig. 16

48. Snow Petrel
(Pagodroma nivea)
Plate Fig. 16

Field Characters: 78-91/34-39. A medium-sized, entirely white petrel with short black bill, dark eye and lead-grey feet. The wings appear long, and the tail is nearly square when folded, but fan shaped when spread.

The flight is particularly swift and erratic with frequent very rapid wingbeats. Small groups or large bands of birds not uncommon above open water, between ice floes. Dives readily for food. Restricted to Antarctic waters and rarely seen far from floating ice.

Circumpolar, breeding in summer on the Antarctic Continent and offshore islands.