Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)


Atlantic Petrel (Pterodroma incerta)


French: Pétrel de Schlegel German: Schlegelsturmvogel Spanish: Petrel de Schlegel
Other common names: Schlegel's Petrel

Procellaria incerta


, 1863,

“Mers australes, côtes de la Nouvelle Zélande, et Mers de l’Australie”


Genetic data indicate that this species forms a clade with P. magentae, P. lessonii, P. macroptera and P. gouldi#R; also, feather lice shared with these taxa#R. Sometimes considered sister-species of P. lessonii. Monotypic.


S Atlantic Ocean, breeding at Gough I; formerly bred at Tristan da Cunha, where possibly now extinct#R.

Descriptive notes

40–43 cm; 420–720 g (exceptionally 310 g); wingspan 104 cm. Only petrel of its size that is all dark with white lower breast and belly; undertail-coverts dark.... read more


Considered similar to that of P. macroptera.


Marine and probably pelagic. Breeds on oceanic islands, occupying ridges at altitudes of 50–... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly cephalopods (especially gonatid, onychoteuthid and histioteuthid squid), with some mesopelagic fish (notably myctophids) and... read more


Breeds in winter, returning to colonies for courtship and burrow renovation in late Mar to late Apr, then depart on pre-laying exodus for a... read more


Disperses throughout S Atlantic, occurring off E coast of S America and rounding South Africa into... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously considered Vulnerable. Present population numbers perhaps a few hundred breeding pairs at Tristan da Cunha (although recent evidence of breeding is... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Atlantic Petrel (Pterodroma incerta). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 30 March 2020).