White-faced Storm-Petrel: The only Atlantic storm-petrel with the combination of dark gray upperparts and white underparts with a dark cap and eyeline. Long black legs trail behind squared tail in flight. Webbing between toes is yellow. Alternates rapid, shallow wing beats with stiff-winged glides.
Range and Habitat
White-faced Storm-Petrel: Breeds and roams widely in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and throughout the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere. Very rarely observed along the Atlantic Coast of North America.
The White-faced Storm-Petrel is a small seabird which breeds on remote islands found in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Such islands may include Tristan da Cunha, as well as parts of Australia and New Zealand. Northern populations also exist on the Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands and Savage Islands. Nesting is conducted in colonies, and eggs are laid in rocky crevices along the coast. This species is strictly nocturnal, and is almost always at sea outside of breeding season. Diets consist largely of plankton plucked from the ocean surface. The conservation rating for the White-faced Storm-Petrel is Least Concern.
The White-faced Storm-Petrel was first described in 1790 by John Latham, an English physician, naturalist and author. One of the most noticeable characteristics of this bird is the way it bounces off the water while feeding.
It is strictly nocturnal at the breeding sites to avoid predation by gulls and skuas, and will even avoid coming to land on clear moonlit nights.
Often described as riding a pogo stick, it touches the water and then bounds up, only to hit the water again like a bouncing basketball.