Kermadec Petrel (Pterodroma neglecta)

Kermadec Petrel

[order] PROCELLARIIFORMES | [family] Procellariidae | [latin] Pterodroma neglecta | [authority] Schlegel, 1863 | [UK] Kermadec Petrel | [FR] Petrel de Kermadec | [DE] Kermadec-Sturmvogel | [ES] Petrel de las Kermadec | [NL] Kermadecstormvogel


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

Medium-sized petrel. Several colour phases from dark brown over the whole body, with a few flecks of grey on the face to a lighter form which is sooty brown above with pale grey head and white underparts. The darker form is characteristic at Lord Howe Island. Tail short and square cut. White markings on upper wings. Bill short and black and legs and feet flesh-coloured. Eyes dark brown.

Listen to the sound of Kermadec Petrel

[audio: Petrel.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 90 cm wingspan max.: 94 cm
size min.: 37 cm size max.: 39 cm
incubation min.: 50 days incubation max.: 52 days
fledging min.: 110 days fledging max.: 130 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 1  


Pacific Ocean : widespread. The Kermadec Petrel occurs in subtropical seas between 20 and 35 degree South. Breeding colonies are located in the South Pacific Ocean, 25-35 degrees South, from
Lord Howe Island to Juan Fernandez Island.


The marine, pelagic Kermadec Petrel is a seabird of the subtropical and tropical water of the south Pacific Ocean, dispersing to central north Pacific. Breeding occurs on atolls and rocky islets across subtropical South Pacific Ocean on vegetated coastal slopes, cliffs or mountainous terrain inland. Nests are located on the ground or in rock crevices under ferns, shrubs or trees.


Kermadec Petrels breed in colonies, mingling with other seabirds such as storm-petrels and albatrosses. After establishing nest sites in large coloniesindividuals leave for 2 to 3 weeks before returning to lay. Usually one egg is laid and incubated for a period of 50-52 days.

Feeding habits

The diet of the Kermadec Petrel is virtually unknown. However, individual specimens have contained squid and crustaceans. The species feeds by surface seizing and dipping.

Video Kermadec Petrel


copyright: Peter Fraser


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Kermadec Petrel status Least Concern


Probably disperses over much of tropical and subtropical Pacific; occurs in North Pacific mainly Nov-Jan, recorded N to 42 degrees N. Some populations may be fairly sedentary, especially adults.

Distribution map

Kermadec Petrel distribution range map

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