During systematic surveys of seabirds and marine mammals at sea around the Falkland Islands, 22 species of seabird were recorded associating with free-floating patches of kelp. Of these, Grey-backed Storm-petrel was the only species where a significant proportion of the total number of birds recorded appeared to utilise free-floating kelp patches as a source of food. At no time was it possible to identify the food being taken but evidence from the literature would suggest that the prey items were the barnacle Lepas australis. A significant correlation between the density of free-floating kelp patches and the density of Grey-backed Storm-petrels indicates that Grey-backed Storm-petrels specialise in exploiting a food source largely neglected by other seabirds in Falkland Islands waters.

Atlantic seabirds

CC BY 3.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding")

Nederlandse Zeevogelgroep

Keith W. Gillon, Richard W. White, & Andrew D. Black. (2001). Grey-backed Storm-petrels Garrodia nereis and other seabirds associating with free-floating kelp. Atlantic seabirds, 3(2), 75–84.