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Northern Giant-Petrel | Macronectes halli

The Northern Giant-Petrel is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Procellariidae bird family group which includes birds such as Petrels, Shearwaters.

The description for the Northern Giant-Petrel (Latin name Macronectes halli) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Macronectes halli can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 18 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 655. You will find a picture of the Northern Giant-Petrel on page 656.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Northern Giant Petrel in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Northern Giant-Petrel between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Northern Giant-Petrel has a height of 100 cms and weighs around 4800 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured red. The Macronectes halli has a grey coloured throat, grey legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are white.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are white

Bill is red

Legs are grey

Throat is grey

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird is a well known scavenger and rarely kills its own prey.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Northern Giant-Petrel uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

You can see the Northern Giant-Petrel bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

The Northern Giant-Petrel is a very rare bird that can only be seen out at sea following fish vessels. It can be seen in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Northern Giant-Petrel is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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