Black-capped PetrelPterodroma hasitata

adult
Harold Stiver/VIREO
adult
Harold Stiver/VIREO
Black-capped Petrel

Description

14-18" (36-46 cm). A long-winged, long-tailed petrel, dark above with black cap; white collar and rump (lacking in Manx and Audubon's shearwaters); white underparts. Viewed from below, wings have broad dark margins.

Voice

Usually silent at sea.

Listen

various calls at colony

Habitat

Open ocean, especially Gulf Stream waters.

Range

Breeds on larger islands in West Indies; visits Gulf Stream, regularly as far north as Carolinas.

Discussion

The critically endangered Black-capped Petrel is a little-known seabird that visits its Caribbean nesting colonies only at night,which are concentrated on a heavily deforested mountain in southern Haiti. The total population is small, amere handful drift northward along the Gulf Stream in summer and fall, after the breeding season. There they feed chiefly on squid, which they snatch from the surface of the water.

Nesting

1 white egg in a burrow or rocky crevice on an isolated mountain ridge.

Similar Species

adult

Mottled Petrel

14" (36 cm). A small petrel with a distinctively short, heavy bill. Gray above, with dark bars on upper surfaces of wings forming a flattened M shape; darker gray on breast and belly.

Vireo

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