Physical Characteristics

Diving-petrels are small, tubenosed seabirds that dive and swim to catch their food. They weight 4 to 8 ounces (120 to 220 grams) and are 7 to 10 inches (18 to 25 centimeters) long. Unlike other tubenoses, the tube-like nostrils of the diving-petrel project upward rather than forward. Scientists believe this is an adaptation, change over time, to diving. The bill is short and wide, with a slight hook at the tip. The short wings are used as flippers to help move the bird forward. Feathers are bluish-gray or black with white on the underside. When the birds molt, shed their feathers, they are unable to fly until new feathers grow in.

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