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Tristram’s Storm Petrel

Oceanodroma tristrami
Tristrams Storm Petrel

Tristram’s storm-petrel is a medium sized storm-petrel with long, pointed wings, and a notched tail. Plumage overall blackish brown with sharply defined narrow white band across “rump” (white lower rump; upper tail-coverts, which have small black tips; and bases of outer rectrices), extending slightly onto lateral under tail-coverts (often visible at rest below wings); slightly paler brownish-gray wing-bar across upper wing-coverts typically not extending to leading edge of wing (wing-bar becomes more prominent with wear). Flight is typical of storm-petrels, gliding low over water searching for food. They forage alone or with conspecifics, and typically at night.

Tristram’s storm-petrels are winter breeders, and are nocturnal at nesting colonies. Nests are placed in recesses in rocks, under piles of mined guano, or burrows that they excavate under vegetation. Eggs are laid between December through February and nestlings fledge by June. Like most storm petrels, age at first breeding is likely three to five years.

Tristram’s storm-petrels breed on Nihoa and on all Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) except for Midway and Kure atolls. Outside of the NWHI, breeding colonies only occur on three small Japanese islands. Outside the breeding season, Tristram’s storm-petrels range across the subtropical central and western Pacific Ocean.

Facts About Tristram’s Storm Petrel

Feeds by dipping prey from the ocean’s surface on the wing, often pattering the water with its feet. Diet includes fish, squid, coelenterates, crustaceans, and insects.
Life Span
15-20 years
Length: 176–201 mm (7-8 in); wingspan: 438–472 mm (17-18 in) 
Page Photo Credits — Ian Jones/USFWS
Last Updated: Jun 09, 2016
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