An appropriately named chunky petrel, distinctive in its bland coloration and lack of patterning. Silvery gray-brown above, with a white belly and pale throat. Underwing is dark and unmarked. Bill is pale yellowish with dark contours. Simple bicolored coloration separates this species from other petrels, and chunky proportions and stubby-billed profile distinguish it from similar-looking shearwaters. Follows cold-water currents throughout the southern seas, flying rapidly and directly on stiffly-held wings. Breeds on islands in the southern Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, favoring steep slopes with ample ground cover.