Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)


Phoenix Petrel (Pterodroma alba)


French: Pétrel à poitrine blanche German: Phönixsturmvogel Spanish: Petrel de las Fénix

Procellaria alba

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Turtle and Christmas Islands = Christmas Island




C Pacific, breeding in Phoenix Is (Kanton), Line Is (Kiritimati), Marquesas (Ua Pou, Fatu Huku, Hatuta’a, Hatu-Iti), Pitcairn Is (Oeno) and off Easter I (Motu Nui)#R. No recent confirmed records from Tuamotu and Tonga#R.

Descriptive notes

35 cm; 219–339 g; wingspan 83 cm. Rather plain dark petrel with white abdomen. Fairly uniform blackish-brown upperparts; underwing dusky grey on remiges and... read more


Described as a shrill warble terminating in a bubbling, gurgling sound.


Marine and pelagic; occurs near land at colonies, which it regularly visits by day and early... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly squid (75% of diet by volume) up to 6 kg in size and presumably scavenged when already dead, with some fish (14%), small quantities... read more


Thought to breed in any month, with peak laying on Kiritimati (Christmas I) in Apr–Jun and Nov–Jan, and many fewer initiating... read more


Disperses over wide range of tropical Pacific, occurring N to 24° N at Hawaii and S to 30°... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously regarded as Vulnerable. Total population previously placed at some tens of thousands of breeding pairs, then c. 10,000 pairs in late 1990s, but has... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Phoenix Petrel (Pterodroma alba). 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).