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Northern Giant Petrel

Macronectes halli


A very large (80-95cm - 3.8-5.0kg) petrel. Usually mostly brown body and grey/brown mottled neck and head although some lighter plumage's exist and some feather bleaching does occur. The cream coloured bill is very heavy with well pronounced single nasal tube and characteristic red/orange tip to both mandibles. Eye is brown but pales with age to light yellow/white.


Found around all of the New Zealand coast. Breeding colonies on many sub antarctic islands throughout the warmer parts of the circumpolar region and disperses as far up as the sub tropical oceans. This spieces can be quite gregarious. These birds photographed in the Auckland Island group. The last image shows an adult displaying dominance over a sea-lion carcass.


Often confused with the Southern Giant Petrel. The key is the bill tip which in all cases apart from newly fledged birds is red/orange in the Northern and blue/green in the Southern. Southern are also slightly bigger, usually lighter coloured as adults (have a white morph - see later entry) and adults also usually show a white leading edge on the upper wing.

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triggsturner 5 years ago

Thank you Everyone is awesome. Appreciate your feedback.

triggsturner 5 years ago

Thank you Joshua, much appreciated. No i havent been to that island, in fact I have only been to the USA twice in my life many years ago but I am probably overdue a visit. Is the Scrub Jay a special bird?


I agree great spotting!

JoshuaGSmith 5 years ago

Have you ever been to Santa Cruz Island off of California for the Island Scrub Jay?

JoshuaGSmith 5 years ago

Great spotting as usual!

Spotted by

New Zealand

Spotted on Nov 2, 2013
Submitted on May 24, 2015

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