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GALLERIES > BIRDS > VANUATU PETREL


Vanuatu Petrel Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

Falla's Petrel or Vanuatu Petrel, Pterodroma occulta is a species of gadfly petrel, which may breed in the islands of northern Vanuatu. This little-known seabird has been described from museum specimens, and is not accepted by all authorities.

The name commemorates Robert Alexander Falla, a New Zealand ornithologist.

Description

This species resembles the White-necked Petrel, Pterodroma cervicalis, but is slightly smaller at 40 cm length and 300-350 g weight. It has a black cap, white rear neck, dark grey back, wings and tail, and a darker rump. The underparts are white with dark bases to the primary feathers. Like White-necked, the upperparts of worn birds become darker.

It is very difficult to separate Falla's Petrel from White-necked Petrel at sea.

Behaviour

This is a solitary pelagic species of the open seas of the southwest Pacific. It has an effortless graceful flight with few wing beats, and does not follow ships. It feeds on the wing, picking fish and squid from near the surface.





                                     



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