Latin name: Fregetta grallaria

Population: The White-bellied Storm Petrel has a large global population estimated to be 9,000 individuals.

Cites classified: Least Concern (IUCN, 2008)

Where found: The White-bellied Storm Petrel is found in Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Maldives, Namibia, New Zealand, Saint Helena, South Africa, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The White-bellied Storm Petrel’s natural habitat is open seas.

Wingspan: 46-48 cm

Length: 18-22 cm

Weight: 45-74 g

Mating/Breeding: The White-bellied Storm Petrel nests in shallow burrows in flat or sloping, grass-covered ground or among loose rock. White-bellied Storm Petrels breed between January and March. It lays one egg. No information about incubation or fledging periods.

Eggs: White, spotted at the broad end.

Hunting Habits: The White-bellied Storm Petrel forages by skimming low over the ocean, sometimes pattering the water with its feet, and plucking small crustaceans and squid from beneath the surface of the water. It forages both at day and at night, usually far from shore.

Feed on: Surface plankton, small fish and pelagic crustaceans.

Threats: On some islands the introduced cats and rats take a severe toll.

Colour/Looks: The White-bellied Storm Petrel has black upperparts, mantle feathers that are often white tipped, and a white tipped rump, black chin, throat, breast and undertail. The White-bellied Stor -Petrel is a small, compact storm-petrel with a square cut tail, white forehead, face and underparts and a broad dark mark through the eye. Upperparts are dark grey. Various colour phases have been observed, including a dark phase, having sooty plumage, with only the rump and belly showing white.

More info:

  • Hadoram Shirihai, A complete guide to Antarctic wildlife (2002)
  • David McGonigal & Lynn Woodworth, Antarctica and the Arctic. The complete encyclopedia (2001)