away. For the most part they feed upon refuse thrown overboard but are never fat and always hungry, due undoubtedly to the fact that they are almost continually upon the wing, seldom being
seen resting. Hovering over the food in a peculiar manner, by patting the water with its webbed feet and quickly flapping its wings, Fig. 5.—Stormy Petrel (Thalassidroma pelagica). it appears to stand on the water, and, following the food as it is drifted about, to walk along. Sailors regard it with great superstition, and believe that some calamity will follow the wanton killing of this bird. They seem to have no fear of man, for they constantly flew near and aboard the vessel. Attracted by the lights, many flew aboard at night, and, striking the house, fell senseless to the deck. These birds must have a very short and irregular breeding period, for they are found several hundred miles from land, at all seasons of the year. They probably go in flocks, at different times, to their favorite breeding-place, and after a short period, having raised one brood, they return.