Story: Petrels

Nesting fairy prions

Nesting fairy prions

Fairy prions and other petrels return to their colonies each year to court and establish a nest site. Most often they mate with the same partner and use the same burrow year after year. Once the egg is laid they share incubation, taking turns to go to sea to feed. Depending on how far they need to travel to find food, these trips can take from one to seven days, or longer for some species. Meanwhile, the other parent fasts on the nest. Petrels are able to store energy to keep them going, so their weight goes through big changes as they fast, then feed.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10031381
Photograph by Rod Morris

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Petrels - Breeding', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 August 2022)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015