Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata)


French: Prion de Forster German: Großer Entensturmvogel Spanish: Prión piquiancho

Procellaria vittata

G. Forster

, 1777,

latitude 47° 10’ S


Often considered to include P. salvini and P. desolata, and on occasion also P. belcheri, as races. Monotypic.


Subantarctic and subtropical seas from SE Atlantic to New Zealand, breeding in S South I (New Zealand) including islets off Stewart I, Snares Is and Chatham Is; Tristan da Cunha and Gough I.

Descriptive notes

25–30 cm; 137–237 g; wingspan 57–66. Heaviest-billed of prions, with steep forehead and typical appearance of genus: largely white underparts and... read more


Mostly vocalizes from ground, but principal vocalization a “popper-poop-pop” (so-called Harsh Call... read more


Marine and probably pelagic, rarely approaching land except at colonies. Breeds on coastal slopes... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly crustaceans, especially copepods (Calanoides tonsus), squid and some fish; apparently takes more crustaceans in summer and... read more


Starts Jul/Aug with main return to colony (although species does not entirely desert breeding areas in winter on Gough or in Chathams),... read more


Adults thought to remain in waters adjacent to colonies, which they visit intermittently in winter... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population until recently speculated to be in order 15,000,000 birds, but probably much lower; especially abundant on formerly... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata). 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 18 February 2020).