Black Storm-Petrel

Hydrobates melania




Northern Storm-Petrels (Hydrobatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White, nest stained with red brown spots

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On rocks near water.

Nest Material:

Lined with leaves.





Black Storm-Petrel: Small seabird, brown-black overall with long, dark wings showing pale bar on upper side, and forked tail. Hooked bill is dark and has a tube on top. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Black Storm-Petrel: This species breeds along the Pacific Coast from southern California to South America, and on islands off both coasts of Baja California. Individuals may wander farther north during migration. They are pelagic, nesting on rocky islands and spending the rest of the year on the open ocean.

Breeding and Nesting

Black Storm-Petrel: One red brown spotted, white egg is laid in natural cavity, rock crevice or in a burrow dug by another species. Nest is sometimes lined with leaves. Both parents incubate the egg for 18 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Black Storm-Petrel: Feeds on crustaceans, small fish, and plankton captured just below the water surface. Hovers above the water with its feet hanging down and "dances" or "patters" on the surface while feeding


Black Storm-Petrel: Utters a noisy series of "tuck-a-roo", peeps, and clicks at night around nesting colonies.

Similar Species

Black Storm-Petrel: Ashy Storm-Petrel is smaller with shallower wing beats. Least Storm-Petrel is much smaller with more rapid wing beats and a wedge-shaped tail. Other storm-petrels have white rumps.

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