Herald Petrel: Medium petrel, three color morphs: light, intermediate, dark. Dark morph is dark gray overall, silver-gray to white base on underwing flight feathers. Light morph has white breast, belly and dark gray upperparts. Intermediate forms exist between light and dark morphs. Gray legs, feet.
Range and Habitat
Herald Petrel: These birds prefer water below the Equator but were recorded as far north as North Carolina where it is a rare but regular visitor in late spring to late summer. Breeds on Raine Island and other small cays in the Coral Sea. Mostly pelagic, spends its life at sea coming to nesting grounds only to breed. Prefers warm islands with soils suitable for nesting burrows.
In May 2007, a Herald Petrel tagged on Raine Island in 1984 was observed off the coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. This greatly increases the known life span and range of the species.
There are separate populations of Herald Petrel, one occurring in the south Pacific, the other occurring in the south Atlantic.
A group of petrels are collectively known as a "gallon" and a "tank" of petrels.