The diving petrels of the family Pelecanoididae are small petrels. They are highly uniform in appearance, and very difficult to distinguish when seen at sea. They are best distinguished by the size and shape of their short bills. The plumage is shining black on the top and white on the underside. Their wings are short, particularly with regards to overall body size, and used in a highly characteristic whirring flight. This flight is low over the water. In the water these wings are half
folded and used as paddles to propel the bird after its prey. Diving petrels eat plankton feeders, taking mostly crustacean prey such as krill, copepods, also taking small fish and squid. They have several adaptations for obtaining their prey including short powerful wings, a gular pouch for storing food, and their nostrils open upwards rather than pointing forward as in other tubenoses. There is one genus and one species of diving petrel known to occur in Peru. Photo: Peruvian Diving-Petrel.