Northern Giant Petrel

Macronectes halli - Pétrel de Hall

Systematics
  • Order 
    :

    Procellariiformes

  • Family
    :

    Procellariidés

  • Genus
    :

    Macronectes

  • Species
    :

    halli

Descriptor

Mathews, 1912

Biometrics
  • Size
    : 94 cm
  • Wingspan
    : 180 à 200 cm.
  • Weight
    :
Longevity

20 years

Geographic range

Distribution

Identification

Pétrel de Hall
adult
Pétrel de Hall
adult

One of the largest petrels (along with the Southern Giant Petrel). The entire plumage is a greyish brown with the exception of the forehead, chin and throat, which are much lighter in color and have white feathers. The beak is large, horn coloured with a brown to reddish-brown tip. The nostrils are also very impressive. Immatures are entirely dark.
It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate from Macronectes giganteus which is generally much lighter, sometimes even almost white. With this species, the tip of the beak is greenish. It is not possible to differentiate the immatures of the two species in the wild.
The two species can sometimes hybridise; this is particularly the case for birds nesting on Gough Island (South Atlantic).

Subspecific information monotypic species

Foreign names

  • Pétrel de Hall,
  • Abanto marino subantártico,
  • pardelão-subantártico,
  • Hallsturmvogel,
  • északi óriáshojsza,
  • Noordelijke Reuzenstormvogel,
  • Ossifraga del nord,
  • nordlig jättestormfågel,
  • Nordkjempepetrell,
  • plavec tmavý,
  • buřňák Hallův,
  • Nordlig Kæmpestormfugl,
  • tummamyrskyliitäjä,
  • Grootnellie,
  • petrell gegant subantàrtic,
  • Jötunfýlingur,
  • petrelec wielki,
  • severni veleviharnik,
  • Северный гигантский буревестник,
  • キタオオフルマカモメ,
  • 霍氏巨鹱,
  • 北方巨鸌〔賀爾氏巨鸌〕,

Voice song and cries

The call is a very rapid cackling sound.

Habitat

Pétrel de Hall
adult

During breeding season, birds typically settle on islets and islands where they occupy grassy or even rocky slopes, offering some tufts of grass for shelter. Northern Giant Petrels are no exception.

Behaviour character trait

If adults can be almost sedentary, staying only very close to colonies, young ones undertake long journeys virtually throughout the Southern Hemisphere. The Northern Giant Petrel is often gregarious. On feeding sites, it is dominated by its congeners M. giganteus and more often searches for food in the sea.

Flight

Pétrel de Hall
adult

The flapping flight is heavy, but the species also practices long gliding flights.

Dietfeeding habits

Pétrel de Hall
subadult

Male and female have different diets. The females mainly feed on cephalopods, krill, and sometimes on small petrels at sea. The prey are captured from the surface, but Northern Giant Petrels are capable of diving. The males are mainly scavengers, feeding on the corpses of all sorts of marine mammals and birds found on the coast.

Reproduction nesting

Pétrel de Hall
Poussin

Northern Giant Petrels rarely nest in colonies. Their nest is a non-structured pile of grass that can be over 50 cm tall. Clutching typically begins in August with a single egg which is incubated for about 2 months. Chicks are covered in grey down on top and whitish underneath and are almost constantly covered by an adult for around 3 weeks. They only take to the skies at around 3 and a half to 4 months old. These birds don't reach sexual maturity until they're 6 to 7 years of age.

Geographic range

It breeds on various islands between the Antarctic glacial zone and the Tropic of Capricorn. Outside of the breeding season, it is a pelagic bird that looks for its food out at sea, where it follows fishing boats, and on the coasts.

Threats - protection

Pétrel de Hall
immature
IUCN conservation status
Extinct
Threatened
Least
concern
Extinc
in the Wild
Near
threatened
Not
evaluated
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC NE

The population is estimated to be around 10,000 couples and the species does not appear to be threatened. Adults are sometimes victims of industrial fishing.

Sources of information

Other sources of interest

QRcode Pétrel de HallSpecification sheet created on 01/08/2023 by
Translation by AI Oiseaux.net
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