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3

Fairy Prion

(Pachyptila turtur)
Alternate name(s): "Fairy Dove Petrel", "Whalebird*"
Size: 24-28 cm; wing span 56-60 cm
Weight: 110-170 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Fairy Prion at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "turtur"

Views of both the upperwing and underwing patterns of Fairy Prions
[Off Wybung Head, Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Lateral view from above onto a Fairy Prion; at this angle one can see very clearly the characteristic "M" upperwing pattern and the black terminal band on the tail (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Near Wattamolla, Royal NP, NSW, June 2013]

Dorsal view of a Fairy Prion (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Near Wattamolla, Royal NP, NSW, June 2013]

Fairy Prion close to the surface of the water (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Near Wattamolla, Royal NP, NSW, June 2013]

Comparison of a Fairy Prion and a Silver Gull
[Off Wybung Head, Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Fairy Prion on the water
[Off Wybung Head, Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

A single Fairy Prion, seen from above, can be very hard to spot - those who want to have a go can click on the shot to see the larger version and try to find a second bird in the field of view...
[Off Wybung Head, Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Food, Diet

Fairy Prions feed on fish.

Fairy Prions have two hunting techniques; they either dive into the water from low height or sit on the water and then jab at fish just under the surface; the latter is seen here
[Off Wybung Head, Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Fairy Prions hunting for fish just under the water surface (creating the ripple), together with a mob of Silver Gulls
[Off Wybung Head, Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Here the whole mob of Fairy Prions and Silver Gulls can be seen moving on to the area where a school of fish will appear at the surface
[Off Wybung Head, Munmorah SCA, NSW, July 2013]

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.