Skip to Content

Petrel, Southern Giant

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2015)
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Petrel, Southern Giant

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:59 am

The two similar-looking species of giant petrels, the Northern Giant Petrel (Macronectes halli) and the Southern Giant Petrel (M. giganteus), are renowned for being difficult to separate. If seen at close range under good light conditions, bill-tip coloration is a diagnostic feature that allows the observer to differentiate one species from the other: greenish in the southern and reddish in the northern.

The Southern Giant Petrel is the largest petrel, but not so much that size difference becomes a identifying trait in field observations.

Image

Opportunist scavenger and predator, giant petrels (both species) eat penguin, albatross, seal and whale carrion, ship offal and kelp. They also prey on small birds and take fish and squid off the surface.

Southern giant petrels are pelagic and circumpolar, generally found between subantarctic and Antarctic latitudes from 40°S to 68°S, with breeding as far south as continental Antarctica.
677 Last 5 lifers: Caspian plover, Western marsh harrier, Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake, Lesser jacana

User avatar
hilda
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2015)
FAC Member (2014)
Posts: 12085
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Pretoria SA

Re: Petrel, Southern Giant

Unread post by hilda » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:25 am

Very interesting of how to differentiate between the Northern and Southern Giant Petrel Johan! Thank you for sharing! :clap: :clap:
"He who refuses to obey cannot command." - African Proverb.

Nights in KNP - 2016
17 - 19 October - Letaba
20 - 22 October - Punda Maria
23 - 25 October - Shingwedzi
26 - 28 October - Mopani
29 October - Return home


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by peter77 at 12:34:07
orpen
Submitted by peter77 at 12:33:31
satara
Submitted by Spook50 at 11:10:17
nossob
Submitted by Anonymous at 09:06:20