home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Pachyptila vittata (Broad-billed prion) 

BreŽbekwalvisvoŽl [Afrikaans]; Breedbekprion [Dutch]; Prion de Forster [French]; Entensturmvogel und Taubensturmvogel [German]; Painho-filtrador-de-bico-largo [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Procellariidae

Pachyptila vittata (Broad-billed prion)   

Broad-billed prion, offshore from New Zealand. [photo Simon Tan ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds on Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island and islands off New Zealand, after which it disperses across the southern oceans. It is rare vagrant to southern Africa, with a few records of stranded birds on the coast of the Western Cape and central Mozambique, as well as at sea in the south-western corner of the region.


It mainly eats small crustaceans by filtering them through its serrated bill, or alternatively grabbing large prey, such as fish and squid, from the water surface.


Not threatened, with an estimated global population of at least six million individuals.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.