SPECIES: Pachyptila turtur subantarctica — Fairy Prion (southern)


The Fairy Prion is a small seabird - hence the name 'fairy', and is the smallest of the prion species. Listed as vulnerable, they have blue and grey plumage and serrated egdges on its bill. 'Prion' translated from Greek, meaning 'a saw'. The bill and feet of the Fairy Prion is blue. They feed in large flocks, by plucking food from the ocean surface.

The Fairy Prion breeds in colonies, including Macquarie Island and surrounding islands and nests in soil and vegetation. Anywhere between 80-250 breeding pairs make their way to Australian shores for the breeding season. Historically, the introduction of black rats to islands where the Fairy Prion breeds have lead to a decline in the population of the species.

Photo JJ Harrison ( [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

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