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Common Diving Petrel - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Absolute_beginner
Drake passage, Cape Horn, South America, November 2018
Pelecanoides urinatrix


20–25 cm (7¾-9¾ in)

  • Dark to black upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Short, rounded wings
  • Stubby black bill
  • Short cobalt-blue feet and legs (becoming brighter during the breeding season)


South America, Africa, Australasia and Antarctica
South America: Chile, Argentina, Falkland Islands
Africa: South Africa
Australasia: Australia: (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria), New Zealand
Antarctica: South Georgia Island, Tristan da Cunha Islands, Prince Edward Islands and Heard Island



There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • P. u. berard:
  • P. u. dacunhae:
  • Tristan da Cunha and Gough islands
  • P. u. exsul:
  • South Georgia Island east to Antipodes Islands
  • P. u. urinatrix:
  • P. u. chathamensis:
  • Chatham and Snares islands (off New Zealand)
  • P. u. coppingeri:

An additional subspecies, elizabethae, is generally considered invalid[2].


Coastal waters.



Their diet consists mostly of planktonic crustaceans.


They nest in burrows or tunnels, on coastal plains and slopes on cliff edges and behind stable dunes.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Australian Government, Dept of Environment
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2018)

Recommended Citation

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