Murphy's Petrel

Pterodroma ultima

Order

PROCELLARIIFORMES

Family

Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Code 4

MUPE

Code 6

PTEULT

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Murphy's Petrel has a small breeding range confined to French Polynesia and the Pitcairn Islands. Native to these islands, this bird prefers neritic, oceanic, or coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is not precisely known, but shows significant signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Murphy's Petrel is Near Threatened.

SUMMARY

Overview

Murphy's Petrel: This large petrel is overall gray or gray-brown with a pale throat. The under wings have pale bars, the legs and feet are pale, and the toes have black distal webbing. The bill is black, and it feeds on squid and crustaceans. It has a swift flight, alternating several rapid wing beats with long glides. It does not follow ships. The sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Murphy's Petrel: Breeds in the Pitcairn Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Austral Islands, and the Gambier Islands. Seen annually in North America far offshore, along the Pacific coast of northern Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. This species is pelagic, only coming ashore during breeding season.

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Murphy's Petrel SONGS AND CALLS

Murphy's Petrel

Generally silent except on breeding grounds.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

Generally silent

INTERESTING FACTS

  • A group of petrels are collectively known as a "gallon" and a "tank" of petrels.
  • Murphy applied the scientific name ultima, meaning last, which was rash in retrospect, as in 1963 its status as ultimate was lost with the description of Barau's Petrel.
  • The first specimen was collected from Pitcairn's Oeno Island in 1922, but it was not until 1949 that Robert Murphy, a seabird biologist, described the species.
  • The Murphy's Petrel is a rare species with very little known about it.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X