Wilson’s Storm Petrel is commonly regarded as one of the most abundant seabirds, if not one of the most abundant birds in the world, with a world-population reaching several million pairs. The latin species name oceanicus means « of the ocean ».
- Latin name: Oceanites oceanicus
- Order: Procellariiformes
- Family: Oceanitidae
- Length: 16-19 cm
- Weight: 28-30 gr
- Wingspan: 38-42 cm
- IUCN Status: Least concern
Source: Map Lynx Edicions/BirdLife International
Important: Birds species have different identifying features depending on sex, age and season.
Eye color: Black
Beak: Thin black beak
Leg color: Black, dark brown
Feather colors: Black, brown, white
Wilson’s Storm Petrels feed on the fly, patting, dipping or surface-seizing small food items. In the Azores, they are foraging solitary or in small flocks. Wilson’s Storm Petrels feed mainly on planktonic crustaceans (especially krill), fish, squids, invertebrates.
Wilson’s Storm Petrels burrows in holes and crevices of sea cliffs. In late summer, they leave the Azores to fly southwards to reach the subantarctic and Antarctic islands where they breed during the Winter and the Spring. The incubation of a single egg (white and spotted) lasts at around 41-48 days. The juveniles will reach the fledgling stage, first flight, at around 48-78 days.
Wilson’s Storm Petrels’ vocalization are used on the breeding grounds. At sea, they are mainly silent, but low squeaks are sometimes heard while birds are feeding. Here you can listen to some Wilson’s Storm Petrels chattering recorded at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica.
llustration by Juan M. Varela. Photos from eBird.