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the web of life in southern Africa

Pterodroma incerta (Atlantic petrel) 

Atlantiese stormvoël [Afrikaans]; Bruinvlerkstormvoël [Afrikaans]; Schlegel-stormvogel [Dutch]; Pétrel soyeux [French]; Weichfeder-sturmvogel [German]; Freira de Schlegel [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 at Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha, after which it disperses across the South Atlantic Ocean, mainly between 20-60° South. It is a rare vagrant to southern Africa, with most records in the south-western corner of the region, with other sightings off central Namibia and southern South Africa; all were sighted between July-November.


It mainly eats squid, supplemented with fish and crustaceans, doing most of its foraging by catching prey from the water surface.


Vulnerable, largely due to human exploitation and predation of chicks and eggs by introduced rats (Rattus) and House mice (Mus musculus).


  • 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.