Black-capped Petrel

Pterodroma hasitata

Order

PROCELLARIIFORMES

Family

Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Code 4

BCPE

Code 6

PTEHAS

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Endangered

The Black-capped Petrel breeds in a few, small areas in the mountains of Hispaniola, and probably breeds in Cuba and one or two other islands in the Caribbean Sea. It ranges in waters of the Caribbean and the western Atlantic Ocean north to the Gulf Stream off the coast of Virginia. The Jamaican Petrel, an extinct species, was formerly considered a subspecies of this bird. The Black-capped Petrel is threatened by introduced predators, hunting in Haiti, and collisions with buildings and towers. This species has a conservation rating of Endangered.

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PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Black-capped Petrel: Large petrel with white underparts, dark brown to black back and upper wings, black cap, and white collar (this field mark is missing in some birds). Tail is long, dark, and wedge-shaped; underwings show broad dark margins. Hooked bill is dark, legs are pink. High arcing flight.

 

Range and Habitat

Black-capped Petrel: Occurs at sea from northern South America to the southeastern U.S. Currently, the only known breeding colonies are located in the highlands of Hispaniola, Haiti and Loma del Toro in the Dominican Republic. The total population is small, and a mere handful drift northward along the Gulf Stream in summer and fall, after the breeding season.

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Black-capped Petrel SONGS AND CALLS

Black-capped Petrel Silent

Generally silent except on breeding grounds.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

Generally silent

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Black-capped Petrels are also known as Diablotín, or "little devil” because of its night-time habits and odd-sounding mating calls, which reminded villagers of the sounds of evil spirits.
  • Due to their prevalence off the coast of the U.S. some researchers believe that there are other breeding colonies not yet accounted for. Expeditions to find breeding birds in Cuba have been made, but no colonies have been found thus far. Likewise, reports of Black-capped Petrels in Dominica have not been followed by the discovery of other nesting sites.
  • They once bred on at least four islands in the Caribbean. Now they can only be heard reliably on the Island of Hispaniola. Hunting, habitat alteration, introduced predators and natural disasters have led to the extirpation of this species from much of its previous breeding range.
  • A group of petrels are collectively known as a "gallon" and a "tank" of petrels.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

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

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
CollarX
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X