Uncommon resident; endemic subspecies phaeopygia often treated as a separate species: 'Galapagos Petrel'. Population estimated at 10,000 - 50,000 pairs in four colonies located in the highlands; breeds throughout the year, with different colonies nesting at different times; nests in burrows which are visited only at night. Not often seen during a Galapagos cruise.
A large, long-winged petrel. Upperparts, crown and side of neck and breast uniform brownish-black; underparts and sides of rump white; conspicuous white forehead; underwing white with black line running along forewing and across centre of wing towards body. Small black mark in 'armpits' is diagnostic
Silent at sea but calls at night near breeding colony "kee - kee - kee - (c)ooo".
Pelagic. Flight action characteristic: in calm weather involving a series of 3 or 4 flaps followed by a long glide on bowed and angled wings; in windy conditions glides in spectacular long arcs, high above the water, with wings bowed. Usually found well away from land during the day. Feeds from the surface whilst resting on the sea or by dipping in flight.