Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Fulmar Prion (Pachyptila crassirostris)


French: Prion à bec épais German: Dickschnabel-Sturmvogel Spanish: Prión picogrueso

Pseudoprion turtur crassirostris


, 1912,

Bounty Island


Probably closest to P. turtur, and sometimes still considered conspecific. Past lumping of these two forms led to some subsequent confusion as to exactly which species occurred where, and Kerguelen form eatoni of P. turtur was mistakenly ascribed to present species; population of present species in Auckland Is was erroneously listed under name eatoni but, following reidentification of that taxon, was recently described as a new subspecies, flemingi; birds of Heard I provisionally included in flemingi but may be subspecifically separable from those of Auckland Is#R. Race pyramidalis in the past synonymized with nominate, but appears to be valid, on basis of larger size, longer bill and wings, and longer tail in male#R. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. flemingi Tennyson & Bartle, 2005 – subtropical and subantarctic waters of S Indian Ocean and SW Pacific Ocean, breeding at Heard I and Auckland Is.
  • P. c. crassirostris (Mathews, 1912) – subtropical and subantarctic SW Pacific Ocean, breeding on Snares Is and Bounty Is.
  • P. c. pyramidalis C. A. Fleming, 1939 – S Pacific Ocean, breeding in Chatham Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    24–28 cm; 99–185 g; wingspan 60 cm. Upperparts pale bluish grey, only marginally darker on forehead, crown and upper ear-coverts, usually darkest just in... read more


    Vocalizations similar to those of P. turtur, and calls both from the ground and in flight... read more


    Marine, occurring in both pelagic and inshore waters. Breeds on coastal cliffs and boulder slopes,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly crustaceans, especially amphipods (Hyperiella antarctica, Themisto antarctica); also fish, squid and molluscs. At... read more


    Poorly known compared to congeners. Starts Oct, with return to colonies occuring in Sept, egg-laying completed by early Nov and hatching... read more


    Largely sedentary, with adults roosting in nest virtually year-round, and regularly seen in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Considered to be probably the scarcest Pachyptila species. Total population numbered c. 50,000–100,000 breeding pairs... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Fulmar Prion (Pachyptila crassirostris). 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 20 February 2020).