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the web of life in southern Africa

Procellaria cinerea (Grey petrel) 

Pediunker [Afrikaans]; Bruine [Dutch]; Puffin gris [French]; Grausturmvogel [German]; Painho-cinzento [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

Distribution and habitat

Breeds in winter at sub-Antarctic islands from Tristan da Cunha the Antipodes, after which it disperses across southern Oceans, generally staying below the Subtropical Front. It is rare in southern African waters with about 1-2 records per year, most of which are concentrated in the far south of the region, although it is occasionally recorded closer to the coast of South Africa.


It mainly eats fish, squid, crustaceans and offal, doing most of its foraging by grabbing prey from the water surface or plunge diving from 3-8 metres above the water.


Near-threatened, largely due to mortalities on longlines and introduced predators at its breeding colonies.


  • 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.