Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Grey-faced Petrel (Pterodroma gouldi)


French: Pétrel à face grise German: Gouldsturmvogel Spanish: Petrel carigrís

Aestrelata gouldi

F. W. Hutton

, 1869,

New Zealand seas


Has been considered conspecific with P. lessonii, and until recently treated as conspecific with P. macroptera, but differs in much more grey on forehead, face and chin (3); slightly larger size (bill, wings, tail) (allow 1); and osteological morphology#R (allow 1), vocalizations (allow 1) and breeding biology (allow 1)#R. Monotypic.


Tasman Sea, temperate and subtropical SW Pacific Ocean, breeding on many islands, clifftops and headlands along W, N & NE coasts of North I (New Zealand).

Descriptive notes

42–45 cm; 595–750 g; wingspan 105–113 cm. Compared to P. macroptera, this dark gadfly petrel is slightly larger, with pale grey area around bill often extending to... read more


Generally similar to P. macroptera, but “bor-r-r” and braying “eee-aw” or “o-hee” calls (... read more


Marine and highly pelagic. Breeds on islands and headlands around North I, New Zealand.

Food and feeding

Study in New Zealand found that cephalopods dominated the diet, with ratios of squid, fish and crustaceans, respectively, as follows: 58%,... read more


Breeds in winter, returning to colonies in Feb, followed by pre-laying exodus of c. 50 days (by males) or 60 days (females) at least, egg-... read more


In off-season visits W Tasman Sea, off New South Wales, in Oct–Apr. Further afield, in SW Pacific... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Reasonably abundant, with 200,000–300,000 pairs, of which most important colonies are on Moutohora and Hongiora Is, which support c.... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Grey-faced Petrel (Pterodroma gouldi). 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 27 February 2020).