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Southern Giant Petrel - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name(s): Giant Petrel, Antarctic Giant Petrel

Photo by derekh42
Crozet Island, November 2003
Macronectes giganteus


Photo by agustine
LPuerto Madryn, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina, September 2017

85–100 cm (33½-39½ in)

  • Has a massive pale yellowish tubenose bill with green tints, especially at the tip.
  • Greyish-brown overall plumage
  • Dark birds differ from Hall's Giant Petrel by having a paler head and always having a pale leading edge to the "arm".

Young birds are uniformly dark, but become paler with age.

There is a white morph, referred to as the 'White Nellie'.


Southern oceans, including Pacific and Atlantic sides of South America, and around peninsula of Antarctica.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Open ocean and coastal shorelines. Travels south as far as the pack ice.


White Nellie Phase
Photo by charelli
Hannah Point, Antarctica, February 2004

Follows ships in hopes of snaring garbage thrown overboard.


Their diet consists mostly of carrion, particularly that of seals, whales and penguins, with the addition of krill, squid and fish.


They construct a rough nest off the ground laying a single egg,which is incubated for about 60 days. The chick is brooded for 3 weeks. Chicks fledge after about 4 months.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. De la Peña & Rumboll, 1998. Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09035-1
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Sept 2017)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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