Living Bird Magazine
Fork-tailed Storm-PetrelOceanodroma furcata
- ORDER: Procellariiformes
- FAMILY: Hydrobatidae
A small, gray, ocean-going bird of the North Pacific, the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel is the only pure gray member of its family. Most of the other storm-petrels are predominantly black.More ID Info
- Paíño Rabihorcado (Spanish)
- Océanite à queue fourchue (French)
- Cool Facts
- Oil is stored in the stomach and used to feed chicks. Adults regurgitate the oil onto predators, and sometimes onto each other during squabbles over nest sites.
- The single egg laid is approximately 20 percent of the female's body weight, one of the largest eggs relative to body size of all birds.
- Adults do not feed the chick in bad weather. If not fed for several days, the chick reduces its body temperature and goes into a state of torpor in which growth nearly ceases. When the adults return and brood the chick, its body temperature rises and it starts to grow again.
- Storm-petrels use their sense of smell to find food at sea and are often the first birds to arrive at an odor source.
- The oldest recorded Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel was at least 25 years, 1 month old, when it was accidentally caught in a trap, freed, and released in Alaska in 2013. It had been banded in the same state in 1988.