Migratory Bird Program
Conserving the Nature of America
Focal Species

Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata)

The Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) is a petrel within the family Procellariidae and is the only Gadfly petrel (genus Pterodroma) known to breed in the West Indies. The IUCN Red List considers this species Endangered with a declining population trend due to its very small and fragmented breeding range and population. Although it is known that the Black-capped Petrel breeds on Hispaniola, specific information on breeding population sizes, locations, and chronologies of breeding colonies remain poorly-studied. Currently, known nesting sites are limited to very small colonies on slopes and cliff faces in open canopy montane forests of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

At their breeding sites, this species is threatened by predation from introduced mammals, deforestation, human encroachment and exploitation. At sea, the birds are closely associated with the western edge of the Gulf Stream off the southeastern United States between Cape Canaveral, Florida and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Records also indicate that during the winter and spring months, this species is also found south of the Greater Antilles to near the coast of Venezuela. Threats at sea include potential collisions with structures and wires on lighted ships and platforms due to light attraction and offshore energy development and oil spills. 


Birdlife International 2008.  Pterodroma hasitata.  In:  IUCN 2010 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  Version 2010.2  Retrieved July 2010 from http://www.iucnredlist.org. 

Morzer-Bruyns, W. F. J. 1967.  Black-capped Petrels (Pterodroma hasitata) in the Atlantic Ocean.  Ardea 55: 270.

Wingate, D. B. 1964.  Discovery of breeding Black-capped Petrels on Hispaniola.  Auk 81: 147-159.



Black-capped Petrel

Black-capped Petrel

Black-capped Petrel - Photo by Glen Tepke

Action Plan  in development

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Last updated: December 1, 2011