Petrel is a web-footed bird and the smallest among its kind. They manage in some way to stay above the water as if they are walking on it.
It is an oceanic bird and lives almost its entire life over the ocean and comes to land only during the breeding season. They can be seen by sea travelers circling about the ship flying close to the crests of the waves.
Several petrels are called “Stormy Petrels”. A petrel is about the size of a swallow. The petrel that appears off the eastern and Southern Coasts of the United States during summer is called “Wilson”s Petrel’. It is sooty black with a white rump-patch. It is about 7 inches long and has a short bill and long, stilt like legs.
Another stormy petrel that is seen only in the northern seas such as the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea is called “Lach’s petrel”.
It is brownish black in color and builds its nest in holes and burrows in the ground and in the hidden spots among rocks. During breeding it remains completely hidden.
There are other kinds of petrels, nearly about eighty other species that range over all the oceans of the world, especially in the southern seas. The largest is the Giant Petrel, which is 35 inches long. Another petrel, called “diving petrel” is from 7 to 10 inches long.
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