IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Biology

The northern giant petrel breeding season generally begins towards the end of the Austral winter, with pairs establishing a nest site in August and laying a single egg between August and October (3). The small, loose breeding colonies generally comprise less than 50 pairs, with the untidy nests dispersed widely amongst tussock grass and rocky out-crops (4). The eggs are incubated for around 60 days, and the chicks fledge around 108 days after hatching (3) (4). Reproductive maturity is reached at around six years of age, but most individuals first breed three to five years later (2) (3) (4). The movements of adults over winter are poorly understood, but some have been observed to remain near the breeding colonies throughout the year, whilst others travel great distances across the ocean (3). Northern giant petrels feed opportunistically on a wide variety of prey including seal, whale, and penguin carrion, krill, octopus, squid, fish and other seabirds (2) (3) (4). Although females forage almost exclusively over the ocean, males also scavenge for carcasses on land (2) (4) (5). At sea, both male and females are aggressive and often gregarious when feeding, taking most prey by seizing it at the surface, or briefly diving into the water (3) (4). In addition, this species commonly scavenges for fish and offal discarded from ships, often feeding near trawlers and longliners (2) (3).

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Source: ARKive

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