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

55. Tahiti Petrel — (Pterodroma rostrata) — Plate 20

55. Tahiti Petrel
(Pterodroma rostrata)
Plate 20

Field Characters: 84/35. A medium to large-sized, white-bellied gadfly petrel with uniformly sooty brown upperparts and underwings. Throat and upper breast sooty brown, sharply demarcated from the remainder of the underbody, which is white. Underwing uniformly dark brown.

Bill black, feet bi-coloured.

Differs from some intermediate-phase Kermadec Petrels (27) by its completely dark underwing, and from the Phoenix Petrel (56) by the absence of a white throat patch. The white throat patch of the Phoenix Petrel (56) is not always easily discernible at sea, and these two species are therefore often difficult to distinguish from each other.

Flight similar to other gadfly petrels, with high banking and arcing, interspersed with relaxed wingbeats.

Breeds on Marquesas and Society Islands and on New Caledonia. Disperses west and north in the tropical Pacific. Has not been recorded from New Zealand.