Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Salvin’s Prion (Pachyptila salvini)


French: Prion de Salvin German: Kleiner Entensturmvogel Spanish: Prión de Salvin
Other common names: Medium-billed Prion

Prion vittatus salvini


, 1912,

Marion Island, Prince Edward Islands


Often treated as a subspecies of P. vittata. Previously considered conspecific with P. macgillivrayi. Monotypic.


S Indian Ocean and Australasian seas, breeding on Prince Edward Is and Crozet Is.

Descriptive notes

25–28 cm; 115–210 g; wingspan 57–58 cm. Upperparts pearl grey to bluish grey, darker slate-grey on crown and especially on forehead, contrasting blackish subterminal band on... read more


Like other Pachyptila, probably silent at sea. Vocal at night at colonies, where gives... read more


Marine, normally occurring offshore, except near colonies; outside breeding season occurs in areas... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly crustaceans, especially amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii) and euphausiids; also squid and fish. Prey is generally less than... read more


Starts late Sept/Oct with return to colony, followed by pre-laying exodus of c. 10 days (10–20 Nov), egg-laying well synchronized... read more


Disperses widely over S Indian Ocean, ranging N to South Africa and Australia; some wander further... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). One of most numerous of all seabirds, with an overall population of perhaps 12,000,000 birds; 6,000,000–8,000,000 pairs at... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Salvin’s Prion (Pachyptila salvini). 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 21 February 2020).