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GREAT-WINGED PETREL (Pterodroma macroptera)
Biodiversity > Birds > Rare visitors and vagrants

*Great-winged Petrel  Pterodroma macroptera

Rare regular visitor. Eight records. One seen by Peter Fullagar, John McKean and Gerry Van Tets at sea south of Kings Point on 1 March 1971 (Rogers 1972). One found beachcast by Ray Shick in July 1975 (Rogers 1976; ANWC 21343). One photographed by  M. Price at Lagoon Beach below the flagstaff in November 1977 (Rogers & Lindsey 1978). Seen by Alan McBride on 26 and 27 May 1985 as approaching Lord Howe Island by sea (A. McBride in litt. to E. Hoskin, K.A. Hindwood Bird Recording Service, ML). Two birds seen by Captain Neil Cheshire 14 nautical miles northeast of the main Island at 31°16'S, 159°15'E on 21 January 1997 (NSWBA data). Ten birds seen by Rohan Clarke near Balls Pyramid on 3 September 1999 (Morris 2002). One seen by Dion Hobcroft near Balls Pyramid on 9 October 1999 (NSWBA data). One bird seen by a Birds Queensland tour party near Balls Pyramid in March 2002 (in litt. to Hutton).


The Great-winged Petrel breeds on islands off northern New Zealand and is a common species in the Tasman Sea, west to the Australian and Tasmanian coasts and north to approximately 26º S (OSNZ 1990; Reid et al. 2002; Tanaka & Seino 1994). Although there are few records of this species from the Group, it could be more common than this suggests as it is probably overlooked amongst the large numbers of the similar Providence Petrel that are found near Lord Howe Island. Most records of the Great-winged Petrel have been from over deeper waters, well away from the main Island.

With regular pelagic trips taken off Lord Howe Island by Ian Hutton and Jack Shick since 2005 sightings of these birds are more common.

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