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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Common Diving Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix

The common diving petrel is a stubby bird with pointed wings and pale blue feet and is the Southern Hemisphere’s counterpart of the auklet. Despite being unrelated, the common diving petrel shares the auklet’s fast, low flight and feeding technique. Instead of searching for food on the wing, like other petrels, it dives, using its wings to swim. It frequently flies straight through waves, emerging with rapidly whirring wings on the other side. The common diving petrel nests in burrows, returning to its nests after dark. There are three other similar-looking species, all found in southern seas.

Common Diving Petrel habitat mapzoom image
  • Order Procellariiformes
  • Length 8–10 in (20–25 cm)
  • Weight 4–4 oz (110–130 g)
  • Habitat Coasts, islands (breeding); open ocean
  • Distribution Southern Ocean and adjoining waters and islands