Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel Life History


Habitat Oceans

  • Breeds on offshore islands of differing habitats.
  • Forages and winters on nearshore waters and cold waters in the open ocean of the continental shelf.
Back to top


Food FishSwimming crustaceans and fish on surface of water.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cliff

Nest Description

In burrows and crevices; little or no nest material added.

Nesting Facts
Egg Description:Dull white, often with blunt end encircled by ring of dark purplish-red spots.
Condition at Hatching:Covered with long gray down, eyes closed.
Back to top


Behavior DabblerHovers over water and dips down, may land briefly on water, and even dive underwater to pursue prey. Follows boats.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernThe Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel is widespread and abundant, but there is little information on population trends of the species. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental population of 5-6 million breeding birds. The species rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Watch List. Nest sites are vulnerable to introduced predators. Adults are vulnerable to oil pollution at sea. Back to top


Dee Boersma, P. and Mónica C. Silva. (2001). Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma furcata), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Back to top

Looking for ID Help?

Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds.

Try Merlin Bird ID