galapagos
elliot's storm petrel

galapagos elliot's storm petrel facts

Name: Elliot's (or White-vented) Storm-petrel
Family: Hydrobatidae
Scientific name: missing
Length: 15 cm
Tail length: 5.6 cm
Weight: N/A

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.

Common resident of Galapagos; endemic subspecies galapagoemis. Population estimated at many thousands and although a nest has yet to be found in Galapagos, breeding is suspected to occur between April and October. These petrels are the ones seen most often during our Galapagos cruises.

Identification:
A small storm-petrel with relatively short, broad-based and rather rounded wings, and a square-ended tail with feet protruding beyond tail in flight. Upper parts uniform dark brown, with paler brown bar on upper wings and a narrow but prominent, 'U' -shaped, pure white rump which extends to the rear flanks. Under parts dark with pale grey patch on center of belly, and ill-defined pale bar on under wings.

Behavior:
Pelagic, although often feeds close to shore. Feeds in a distinctive manner, fluttering and pattering on the water with wings raised. Often follows ships.

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