Magellanic diving petrel

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Magellanic diving petrel
Pelecanoides berardi - 1700-1880 - Print - Iconographia Zoologica - Special Collections University of Amsterdam - UBA01 IZ17900005 (cropped).tif
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Pelecanoides
Species: P. magellani
Binomial name
Pelecanoides magellani
Mathews, 1912

The Magellanic diving petrel (Pelecanoides magellani) is a diving petrel, one of four very similar auk-like small petrels of the southern oceans. This species occurs around the coasts of southernmost South America.

This 20 cm bird is the easiest of its family to identify at sea. Like other diving petrels, it is a compact bird, mainly black above and white below, and similar in shape and size to a little auk, the resemblances with that unrelated seabird being due to convergent evolution, since both dive for fish.

However, the Magellanic diving petrel is the only species with white fringes to the upperpart feathers, and a sharply defined face pattern, so with reasonable views it can be distinguished from its relatives. Sexes are similar, but juveniles lack the white upperpart fringes.

These birds nest in colonies on islands. One white egg is laid in a burrow in turf or soft soil. They are nocturnal at the breeding colonies.


  • Harrison, Peter (1996). Seabirds of the World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01551-1. 

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