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December 17, 2008
The Southern Giant Petrel is a species of large seabird that inhabits the islands of the Southern Ocean. In the wild, all species of Giant Petrels live up to 20 years. As a pelagic species, individuals spend a significant amount of time at sea. These opportunistic feeders consume nearly everything. The Southern Giant Petrel is not a social animal. Aside from breeding season, these birds typically live in complete solitude. Northern Giant Petrels, a distant relative, often share breeding sites with the Southern Giant Petrels within the southern oceans. Favored nesting sites include grassy or rocky areas with an abundance of stones, grass and moss. Breeding season is location specific, with the breeding season for Petrel species situated in the southern oceans beginning in mid-October. Females lay a single egg that incubates for 60 days. Chicks start to fly at four months and hatchlings reach sexual maturation at six years.