Black Storm-Petrel: Small seabird, brown-black overall with long, dark wings showing pale bar on upper side, and forked tail. The hooked bill is dark and has a tube on top. Legs and feet are black. Flight is mothlike with deep, steady wing beats. Comes closer to shore than most other storm-petrels.
Range and Habitat
Black Storm-Petrel: Breeds on islands off both coasts of Baja California, but occurs along the Pacific coast from northern California to South America. Nests on rocky islands; rest of the year is spent on open ocean.
Colonies are attended nocturnally in order to avoid predatory birds such as gulls, peregrine falcons, and owls.
It has two wintering grounds, one in the California Current off Central California and another further south off the coast of Central America as far south as Colombia. It is thought to migrate in this fashion in order to avoid hurricanes in its breeding grounds.
The Black Storm-Petrel is the largest and most commonly seen of the all-dark storm-petrels in California. It is also the species most likely to enter bays and estuaries in search of its food.