Fiji Petrel (Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi)

Fiji Petrel

[order] PROCELLARIIFORMES | [family] Procellariidae | [latin] Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi | [authority] Gray, 1860 | [UK] Fiji Petrel | [FR] Petrel des Fidji | [DE] Macgillivraysturmvogel | [ES] Petrel de las Fiji | [NL] Fiji Stormvogel


Monotypic species


Genus Pterodroma, Pseudobulweria and Aphrodroma are also knwon as the Gadfly Petrels. They vary in size from rather small birds such as the Cookilaria-species, measuring about 26 cm, to the much larger and robust representatives of this group like the White-headed Petrel with an overall length of about 43 cm. Their plumages also vary a great deal from species to species; from completely black to light grey mantles and pure white bellies, and with different color phases within species. One feature shared by all of them is the black bill of which the shape also shows much variation. Some species are extremely rare and restricted to a very limited area, other are abundant and wander widely or have unknown pelagic ranges.
The group of the Gadfly Petrels counts over 35 species, mainly from the Southern Hemisphere. There are three genera: Pterodroma with about 30 species, Pseudobulweria counting four and Aphrodroma with only one. Many authors have tried to classify the large number of species of this group and to determine their relationships. This has resulted in a division in several subgenera and the grouping of several species which are considered to have a more or less close relationship. The taxonomic discussion has not come to an end yet: new species have been added or split recently and probably will be in the near future.

Physical charateristics

The Fiji petrel is a small, all black-brown petrel with a short neck and stout black bill giving it a chunky, thickset appearance. It measures up to 28cm from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. In flight, the underwing has a pale silvery sheen. It has a pale washed-out blue tarsi; mostly black feet with a pale blue patch on centre of each web.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 29 cm size max.: 31 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Pacific Ocean : Central. This species was previously known from just one immature specimen collected in 1855 on Gau Island, Fiji, but between 1984-2007 there were a total of 17 reports of grounded birds on Gau. Most records relate to immature birds that have landed on the roofs of houses in Nawaikama, Levukaigua or Nukuloa villages, a number of which have died, and four specimens have been obtained from these fatalities. One further confirmed sighting concerns a bird that landed in Levuka village in April 2007. At sea, the only unequivocal sightings of the Fiji Petrel have been off Gau in May and October 2009. It may occur on other islands in the vicinity, e.g. Taveun.


Marine bird which might be pelagic. It is likely to breed amongst large numbers of Collared Petrel in the rugged terrain of interior Gau (where over 70 km2 of suitable mature forest exists up to 715 m). Also rocky grounds might be used.


There have been speculations concerning the length and timing of the breeding season, however conclusive data remains to be found. No further data.

Feeding habits

No data

Video Fiji Petrel


copyright: Youtube


This species is classified as Critically Endangered because, given the paucity of recent records, it is estimated that there is only a tiny population which is confined to a very small breeding area. Furthermore, it is assumed to be declining because of predation by cats, which may therefore threaten its long-term survival.
Fiji Petrel status Critically Endangered


No information available

Distribution map

Fiji Petrel distribution range map

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