Peruvian Diving-petrels

The Peruvian Diving-petrel, Pelecanoides garnotii, is a small seabird that feeds in offshore waters in the Humboldt Current off Peru and Chile.The binomial of this species commemorates the French naturalist Prosper Garnot.


Like the rest of the diving petrels it is a nondescript bird, with a dark back and pale belly, and blue feet, and can be separated from the rest of its family only by differences in its beak and nostrils.

Diet / Feeding

Unlike the Common Diving-petrel and the South Georgia Diving-petrel it feeds in cold, offshore, often pelagic water, obtaining small fish larvae and planktonic crustaceans by pursuit diving.

Nesting / Breeding

The Peruvian Diving-petrel nests on a few offshore islands, foremerly in dense colonies, although now more frequently in small groups. They breed year round, laying a single egg in a burrow dug into guano.

Peruvian Diving-petrel fledgling


Peruvian Diving-petrels are considered highly endangered. They formerly numbered in the millions, but the pressures of guano extraction (which destroyed nests, eggs and chicks), being directly taken for food by guano workers and introduced species (particularly foxes and feral cats) have caused the number to crash to around 25,000 birds. They have become locally extinct on many of their former colonies, and now survive on just four islands.

Although all four islands are currently in reserves some guano extraction still continues and the reserves are ineffectively policed.

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