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Bird name:

Storm Petrel

Hydrobates pelagicus




Storm-Petrels (Hydrobatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Islands, rocky

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Colonial, Mates for life

Egg Colour:

Smooth and white.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

38 - 40

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Crevices and burrows which have soft soil but little or no material lining.

Nest Location:

In shrub, sometimes deciduous tree.




Storm Petrel: Small seabird. Brown-black on head, back, underparts, and square-tipped tail. White rump and white sides to rump. Also has white stripe on underwing. Wings black-brown and bill black with short tube on top. Flight fluttering with glides low over the water. Sexes similar. Juveniles are like adults but have short, narrow bar on upperwing in fresh plumage, and are darker than adults.

Range and Habitat

Storm Petrel: Summer breeder in the UK & Ireland. Birds arrive at breeding areas in spring and depart for South African winter grounds in mid-autumn. Birds come ashore only to breed and are active only at night. They can be found in western Ireland and Wales, and northern Scotland and the offshore islands.

Breeding and Nesting

Storm Petrel: Colonial nesters breeding on inaccessible islands for safety from predators. Monogamous, life-long pair bond. Nest is an excavated burrow or crevice prepared by both parents, who may return to the same spot year after year. Both parents incubate eggs and care for young.

Foraging and Feeding

Storm Petrel: Feeds on plankton, crustaceans and small fish found close to the water surface. Associates with other marine mammals to help obtain food, they benefit from the diving predators like seals and penguins which push prey up to the surface.


Storm Petrel: At nesting site a rough, purring "ahrrr-r-r-r-r-r" that ends with a grunt. Silent while at sea.

Similar Species

Storm Petrel: Leach's Petrel has all-black underwings and the white rump patch has a line of black down the centre.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX