- Falla's Petrel
name = White-necked Petrel
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
genus = "Pterodroma"
species = "P. occulta"
binomial = "Pterodroma occulta "
binomial_authority = Imber & Tennyson, 2001
Falla's Petrel or Vanuatu Petrel, "Pterodroma occulta" is a species of
gadfly petrel, which may breed in the islands of northern Vanuatu. This little-known seabirdhas been described from museum specimens, and is not accepted by all authorities.
The name commemorates
Robert Alexander Falla, a New Zealand ornithologist.
This species resembles the
White-necked Petrel, "Pterodroma cervicalis", but is slightly smaller at 40 cm length and 300-350 g weight. It has a black cap, white rear neck, dark grey back, wings and tail, and a darker rump. The underparts are white with dark bases to the primary feathers. Like White-necked, the upperparts of worn birds become darker.
It is very difficult to separate Falla's Petrel from White-necked Petrel at sea.
This is a solitary pelagic species of the open seas of the southwest
Pacific. It has an effortless graceful flight with few wing beats, and does not follow ships. It feeds on the wing, picking fish and squid from near the surface.
*Onley and Scofield, "Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World" (Helm 2007) ISBN 978-0-7136-4332-9
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