Story: Petrels

Broad-billed prion

Broad-billed prion

Some prions’ bills have comb-like fringes called lamellae to filter plankton from water, similar to the filter plates of baleen whales. These are most evident in the broad-billed prions. They feed by running across the surface of the water with their bill open under water, while moving their head from side to side and skimming for small crustaceans (mainly copepods). Weighing 200 grams, the broad-billed is the largest prion.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10035307
Photograph by Don Merton

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Petrels - Prions, gadfly, storm and diving petrels', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 July 2024)

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