Wilsonís Storm-Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)

Wilsonís storm-petrel is a small, dark brown seabird with a white band across its rump. It measures 18 cm in length- a little smaller than a starling. Its nostrils are located in a tube on the outside of its bill, which allow it to process seawater. Like all storm-petrels, this bird- known as ĎMother Careyís Chickení to sailors- hovers just above the water, pattering with its feet on the surface scooping small fish and invertebrates from the waves. Sailors watching this behaviour named the petrels after St. Peter, who walked upon the water. Wilsonís storm-petrels frequently follow ships to pick up scraps, or scavenge the sea for dead or wounded sea mammals.


Wilsonís storm-petrel is a pelagic bird- it spends most of its life in the open ocean, coming ashore only to breed. In the summer, it is common offshore in the North Atlantic, but it does not breed in North America. It nests in burrows or rock crevices in colonies in the South Pacific near Antarctica, and in the southern Indian Ocean.