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Tubenosed Seabirds: Procellariiformes

Behavior And Reproduction

Procellariiforms live in groups, even when breeding. Although their flocks often contain numerous species, fights occur frequently, with the larger species forcing out those smaller birds. Unless competing for food, most procellariiforms are silent on the water. However, when nesting on land, they communicate with shrieks and calls.

These seabirds breed slowly, laying just one egg each season. The mother sits on the egg anywhere from six to eleven weeks. Once born, chicks take two to nine months before they can fly independently. This waiting period is longer than that of most birds. Experts believe this is because there are very few predators, animals that hunt them for food, on the islands where these birds build their nests, so there is no pressure for the chicks to learn to fly quickly. Procellariiforms do not breed during the first year of life, and larger species wait over ten years before they first breed.

During breeding season, tubenosed seabirds build their nests on the ground in large colonies. Both sexes help build the nest, and both help raise the chicks. Though procellariiforms do choose just one mate, evidence has shown that males are involved in pairings outside the primary relationship.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsTubenosed Seabirds: Procellariiformes - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Tubenosed Seabirds And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE