Latin name: Pelagodroma marina

White-faced Storm-petrel (Photo © Aviceda)

White-faced Storm-petrel (Photo © Aviceda)

Population: More than 2,000,000 individuals.

Cites classified: Least Concern (IUCN, 2008)

Where found: The White-faced Storm-petrel breeds on remote islands in the south Atlantic, such as Tristan da Cunha and also Australia and New Zealand. There are north Atlantic colonies on the Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands and Savage Islands. The White-faced Storm-petrel is strictly pelagic outside the breeding season, and this, together with its often-remote breeding sites, makes the White-faced Storm-petrel a difficult bird to see from land.

Wingspan: 42-43 cm

Length: 18-21 cm

Weight: 40-70 g

Mating/Breeding: The White-faced Storm-petrel nests in colonies close to the sea in rock crevices. It breeds between October and December. The White-faced Storm-petrel lays one egg, incubated for 50 to 59 days. The chicks fledge after 52 to 67 days.

Eggs: White, spotted at the broad end.

Hunting Habits: The White-faced Storm-petrel takes his food by dipping and surface-seizing. It rarely follows ships and feeds probably mostly at night.

Feed on: Surface plankton, small fish and pelagic crustaceans.

Threats: On some sub-Antarctic islands the introduced cats and rats take a severe toll.

Colour/Looks: The White-faced Storm-petrel takes its name from the prominent white pattern on its face. Its back is grey-brown and its underside mainly white.

Interesting Trivia:

  • There have been a handful of western Europe records from France, Great Britain and The Netherlands.

More info:

  • Hadoram Shirihai, A complete guide to Antarctic wildlife (2002)
  • David McGonigal & Lynn Woodworth, Antarctica and the Arctic. The complete encyclopedia (2001)