June 21 – Water You Up To?

A Cape Petrel walks on the water (My Camera)

A Storm Petrel walks on the water
(My camera)


The petrel has an amusing habit that gives the bird its name. To a biologist, it is called a procellariidae which means “rider of the storm” in Latin. But though many petrels like to ride the strong winds that come just before a storm, that’s not where they get their common name. Instead, petrels are named after St. Peter who walked on water just as long as he had faith. Like St. Peter, the petrels are wont to hover just above the water with their feet touching the surface. And like St. Peter, ever so often, their faith gives out and they fall down with a loud splash. Unlike St. Peter, they also run on the water as they take off. Like followers of St. Peter’s faith, petrels are found around the world. So the next time you are near the water, keep a weather-eye out. Who know? You may just see a miracle in flight!

One thought on “June 21 – Water You Up To?

  1. Pingback: January 5 – Happy New Bird! | Little facts about science

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