Great-Winged Petrel, Pterodroma macroptera

The Great-winged Petrel or Grey-faced Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) is a petrel. In New Zealand, it is also known by its Maori name oi and as a muttonbird.

The following are the two recognized subspecies of P. macroptera. – P. m. macroptera and P. m gouldi, the latter of the two is endemic to New Zealand, and is often called the Grey-faced Petrel.

It breeds in the Southern Hemisphere between 30 and 50 degrees south having colonies on Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island, the Crozet Islands, the Prince Edward Islands, the Kerguelen Islands and of the coasts of southern Australia and Northern New Zealand. It’s a rare vagrant to the Pacific Ocean off the Californian coast of United States.

The bird is completely dark brown except for a variable patch of white near the bill base, which is black. It breeds on islands throughout the southern oceans. It’s distinguished from the Sooty Shearwater and Short-tailed Shearwater by the all-dark underwing, the thick stubby bill, and different jizz. Also, the similar Flesh-footed Shearwater has a light, pinkish colored bill. Petrels in the genus Procellaria are bigger and have a less bouncing flight.

Image Caption: Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera), East of the Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia. Credit: JJ Harrison/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)