Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Oceanites oceanicus




Southern Storm-Petrels (Oceanitidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with red brown spots at large end.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

39 - 48

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In burrow or rock crevices.

Nest Material:

No material added to nest.





Wilson's Storm-Petrel: Small storm-petrel with mostly brown-black body, pale brown wing bands and large conspicuous white rump. Wings are short and rounded; upperwing is sooty-black with paler gray panel on the greater coverts. Tail is squarish with a white horseshoe shape on the uppertail coverts. Head and upperparts are mostly black with less brown on the remiges. Black feet extend past tail in flight; long black legs. Iris is dark brown; bill is black. Sexes are similar. Female is slightly larger. Juveniles resemble adults.

Range and Habitat

Wilson's Storm-Petrel: Breeds on rocky islands in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seas; in non-breeding season, this species ranges northward over the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans; in the eastern Pacific it is very rarely found north to Monterey Bay. Highly pelagic, it comes ashore only to breed.

Breeding and Nesting

Wilson's Storm-Petrel: One white egg is laid in a rock crevice or burrow. Incubation ranges from 39 to 48 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Wilson's Storm-Petrel: These petrels feed on mollusks, small fish, small crustaceans, marine plants and the excrement of cetaceous animals. They snatch food from the water surface while in flight. They frequently follow ships and whales. They are attracted to chum, and have also been known to feed on the oil from carcases.


Wilson's Storm-Petrel: Makes a soft peeping, heard at close range when bird is feeding.

Similar Species

Wilson's Storm-Petrel: Black, Ashy, and Least storm-petrels lack white rump. Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel is smaller with larger rump patch. Band-rumped Storm-Petrel is larger and has a thinner rump patch. Leach's Storm-Petrel has forked tail and divided or absent rump patch.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Refers to the flight feathers-primaries, secondaries, and tertials.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
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