Band-rumped Storm-petrel Facts

Name: Band-rumped (or Madeiran) Storm-petrel
Family: Hydrobatidae
Scientific name: missing
Length: 9–21 cm in length with a 43–46 cm wingspan
Weight: 44–49 g

Category: Sea Birds
Number of Species: 47
Endemic Species: 13

In total, 47 species of sea birds have been recorded in the Galapagos, 19 of which are resident to the Islands. The sea birds therefore account for nearly one third of all the species ever recorded in the islands and about the same proportion of the resident species.

Seabirds can be conveniently divided into 12 groups, as show in the table below. This shows the number of species recorded in each group and summarizes their status. If also shows the number of endemic species and the number of other species which are represented by endemic subspecies. Species are treated as migrants if they occur annually, vagrants being those recorded less frequently.

Category: Sea Birds
Endemic Subspecies: Wedge-rumped Storm-petrel; Elliot's (or White-vented) Storm-petrel

Eight species of Storm Petrels have been recorded in Galapagos, including 3 resident species, 1 migrant and 4 vagrants. Storm-petrels are the smallest of the seabirds with tube-noses (raised nostril-tubes at the base of the bill). They have short to medium-length wings in proportion to their size and usually fly close to the sea with a characteristic gliding flight action interspersed with rapid wing beats. Storm-petrels have longish legs and webbed feet, and the species most likely to be seen in Galapagos are dark with white rumps. The sexes of all species recorded in Galapagos are alike, and immature plumages resemble adult plumage.

A medium-sized storm-petrel with relatively broad, blunt-tipped wings; moderately long, slightly forked tail; and a rather 'bull-necked' appearance. The legs do not protrude beyond tail in flight. Upper parts uniform dark brown with paler brown bar on upper wing. Narrow, but prominent, 'U'-shaped white rump extends to the lateral undertail-coverts; at close range may show dark feathers at rear of white rump. Under parts entirely dark.

Silent at sea but calls at night near the breeding colony: a squeaky "whikka-whikka.." rather like rubbing a wet finger on a glass.

Pelagic, feeding well offshore and rarely seen close to land. Flight action rather buoyant with rapid, shallow wing beats and low, shearing glides reminiscent of Audubon's Shearwater, with the wings held flat or slightly bowed. Progresses in a zigzag manner but occasionally becomes erratic, banking and 'jinking' and doubling back. Does not follow ships but sometimes attracted to lights at night. Visits colonies nocturnally.

Band-rumped Storm-petrel flying over the ocean in the Galapagos Islands