Cape Petrel (species: Daption capense) in Sydney Marine Life (Gaia Guide)
Daption capense
Cape Petrel

©Arthur Chapman: Cape Petrel (Daption capense)

©Liam Quinn: Cape Petrel (Daption capense)

©J.J. Harrison: Cape Petrel (Daption capense)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Procellariiformes
Family Procellariidae
Genus Daption
Species Daption capense
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

The Cape Petrel is a unique looking Petrel. It has a black head and neck, and a white belly, breast, and its underwing is white with a black border. Its back, and upperwings are black and white speckled, as is its tail which also has a band of black. (Wikipedia)


  • From 35 cm to 45 cm (Length of specimen) - applies to Adults


  • Up to 86 cm



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: Cape Petrel (Daption capense)

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is common in the Southern Ocean.

 During breeding season, Cape Petrels feed around Antarctica's shelf and during the winter they range further north, as far as Angola and the Galapagos Islands. They breed on many islands of Antarctica and the subantarctic islands, some going as far as the Auckland Islands, the Chatham Islands, Campbell Island. Their main breeding grounds were on the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, the Balleny Islands, the Kerguelen Islands, as well as islands in the Scotia Sea. (Wikipedia)


Cape Petrels' diet was 80% crustaceans, as well as fish and squid. Krill was their favorite crustacean, which they would obtain by surface seizing as well as diving under water and filtering them out. They are also known for following ships and eating edible waste thrown overboard and carcasses. They are aggressive while feeding and will spit their stomach oil at competitors, even their own species. (Wikipedia)

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