IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

Atlantic petrels are winter breeders, returning to their colonies from February to March in order to mate (3). Single eggs are laid from June to July, with young hatching in August and September, and fledging in December and January (3) (5). The birds are exclusively nocturnal whilst on land (5). Chicks grow at a very slow rate, suggesting poor at-sea feeding conditions (5). The age of first breeding, breeding frequency and longevity are not yet known for this species (2). Squid forms the bulk of the diet, although some crustaceans and fish will also be taken (2), and the Atlantic petrel possesses physical and behavioural adaptations geared towards catching such prey. The species' towering flight style gives it a commanding field of view, useful in detecting widely dispersed prey (3). Furthermore, few other gadfly petrels in the region have such an elongated bill as this species, which is equipped with a strongly hooked tip, thought to be an adaptation to snatching live, slippery squid from the sea surface (3).

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Source: ARKive

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