Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Blue Petrel (Halobaena caerulea)


French: Prion bleu German: Blausturmvogel Spanish: Petrel azulado

Procellaria caerulea

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

“in oceano australi” = Southern Ocean, latitude 58° S




Antarctic and subantarctic seas, breeding from Diego Ramírez Is, Cape Horn and South Georgia E through islands of S Indian Ocean to Macquarie I.

Descriptive notes

26–32 cm; 152–251 g; wingspan 58–71 cm. Small petrel with contrasting head pattern, grey upperparts with white tail tip and bold blackish pattern on... read more


Probably mainly silent at sea, but very vocal at night when at colonies (except during nights with... read more


Marine and pelagic, occurring in cold waters of subantarctic and Antarctic zones. Breeds on oceanic... read more

Food and feeding

In places takes mostly crustaceans, especially krill (Euphausia) and amphipods; elsewhere fish (Myctophidae, Nototheniidae);... read more


Starts late Aug to Sept on return to colony, with poorly documented pre-laying exodus (from early Oct on Kerguelen Is), followed by egg-... read more


Adults perhaps mainly sedentary, although birds breeding on Kerguelen Is may forage up to 1000 km... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundant, with total population of perhaps three million birds; c. 2,000,000 breeding birds at Diego Ramírez Is (Chile), 70,... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue Petrel (Halobaena caerulea). 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 22 February 2020).