Fregetta tropica (Black-bellied storm-petrel) 

Swartpensstormswael [Afrikaans]; Zwartbuikstormvogeltje [Dutch]; Océanite à ventre noir [French]; Schwarzbauch-meeresläufer [German]; Painho-de-ventre-preto [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Hydrobatidae

Distribution and habitat

Breeds at Shetland Island, the Orkneys, South Georgia, the Sandwiches, Bouvet, the Prince Edwards, the Crozets, Kerguelen, Auckland and Antipodes, dispersing across the southern Ocean to tropical and sub-tropical areas, including much of southern African waters while largely excluding the more shallow continental shelf.

Movements and migrations

It is mainly recorded passing through southern Africa in the short period from late April to early June (moving north to its non-breeding grounds) and from mid September to mid November (heading back to its breeding colonies).


It mainly eats fish, squid, small crustaceans, scraps and offal, doing most of its foraging by dipping its head into the sea to grab prey, often in association with other seabirds, seals and whales.


Not threatened, although its colony on Marion Island was deserted in 1990 due to predation by introduced Domestic cats (Falis catus).


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 


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