Band-rumped Storm Petrel | Maui Ocean Center

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Band-Rumped Storm Petrel

Despite being considered a medium-sized storm-petrel, the Band-rumped storm petrel is the smallest and rarest seabird that breeds in the Hawaiian Islands.

 

Their plumage is primarily dark brown to black with a well-defined white band across their rump, the namesake feature that sets them apart. They are known for being secretive and are most active at night, making them hard to observe. They do become quite vocal during breeding season, however, with their calls used for communication and territory defense.

 

Very little is known about this species due to their rarity, but they are considered endangered with global population estimates below 25,000 breeding pairs.

Feeding and Habitat

Band-rumped storm petrel are pelagic birds, meaning they spend most of the time at sea. But they do have a knack for survival, nesting in burrows or rocky crevices at high-elevation. 

 

When hunting, they snatch up small fish, squid, and crustaceans with a combination technique that involves sitting on the water’s surface and grabbing prey who surface just above the waves.

 

 

Conservation Efforts

The Band-rumped storm petrel has faced an uphill battle, squaring off with predators like cats, rats, and mongooses who threaten their nests. Predators like pigs and goats devastate their high-elevation habitat. 

 

Conservation efforts to combat these threats include protecting existing nesting sites, controlling invasive species, and identifying new locations to establish additional colonies. Collaboration with local communities to reduce unnecessary outdoor lighting is also a focal point, along with continued public education initiatives.

hawaiian Name

‘Akē’akē

Scientific Name

Oceanodroma Castro

Status

Endangered

Classification

Native

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