Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Cape Petrel (Daption capense)


French: Damier du Cap German: Kapsturmvogel Spanish: Petrel damero
Other common names: Pintado Petrel

Procellaria capensis


, 1758,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. c. capense (Linnaeus, 1758) – Antarctica and islands of subantarctic from South Georgia E to Heard I.
  • D. c. australe Mathews, 1913 – temperate to Antarctic seas between Australasia and Antarctica, breeding on islands of New Zealand area.
  • Descriptive notes

    38–40 cm; 340–528 g; wingspan 81–91 cm. Upperparts with contrasting and unique pattern among seabirds. Nominate race has sooty-black hood extending to... read more


    Characteristic cackling, sharp chattering, or purring notes, e.g. “courrrrr” or “cac-cac-cac-cac”... read more


    Marine and pelagic, especially in winter. In places occurs mainly over cold waters beyond... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly krill (Euphausia superba, E. crystallorophias); also fish (Pleuragramma antarcticum), squid, offal,... read more


    Starts Nov, with main return to colony starting in Sept or Oct, depending on sea ice conditions, followed by pre-laying exodus of 2–3... read more


    Dispersive and perhaps partly migratory; absent from Antarctica Apr–Aug; in subantarctic some... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Overall population trends unknown, but local increases reported in some areas (e.g. 2·3% between 1985 and 1999 in parts of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Cape Petrel (Daption capense). 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 25 February 2020).