Birds – Cape Petrel

The little Pintado, Cape Petrel (Daption capensis), or Cape Pigeon as it is perhaps most frequently called, from its superficial resemblance to a Pigeon, is by many placed next the Fulmars. It is much smaller than any of these, being only fifteen or sixteen inches in length, and has the head black, the back white, spotted with black, while the under parts are immaculate white. It is a native of the southern seas generally, coming north to Ceylon and occasionally, perhaps only accidentally, to California, on the Pacific coast of America. To all voyagers in southern seas it is an abundant and familiar bird, coming about the ship often in great numbers and feeding greedily on the scraps thrown overboard. It is said to dive readily, dropping suddenly into the water, and instantly disappearing, and it will also fish up bits of food from a slight depth of water. Like others of its kind, it ejects an offensive fluid when caught. Their breeding places are various Antarctic islands.