Story: Petrels

Cape petrel (1st of 2)

Cape petrel

Cape petrels are part of the fulmarine petrel group, which also includes giant petrels. They have sturdy bills with prominent nasal tubes. Cape petrels often feed by sitting on the water, using their feet to stir up planktonic crustaceans, which they peck from the surface. Their distinctive markings have given rise to the name pintado, which is Portuguese for ‘painted’. They fly and feed in flocks and often follow vessels such as the Wellington–Picton ferries.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10031095
Photograph by Rod Morris

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Petrels - Shearwaters, Procellaria and fulmarine petrels', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

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