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Wilson's Storm Petrel - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Wilson's Shearwater)
Photo © by Joe Cockram.
Atlantic Ocean, not too far from Scilly

Alternative names: Wilson's Shearwater; Mother Carey's Chickens

Oceanites oceanicus


Length 7.25" (18 cm), wingspan 16-18" (41-46 cm). Dark blackish brown except for bold U-shaped white rump patch that extends onto flanks, pale carpal bars and underwings. Square tail may appear notched. Long legs extend beyond tail in flight. Relatively short wings. Fluttery, swallow-like flight. Feeding behavior of tapping surface of water with toes while hovering is distinctive.


It breeds on the Antarctic coastlines and nearby islands such as the South Shetland Islands as well as in southern Chile. Common migrant in the North Atlantic Ocean.



Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • oceanicus is a mainly temperate species mostly limited to the southern hemisphere
  • exasperatus is a high arctic breeder that is highly migratory, routinely found in the northern hemisphere in southern winter


Open sea.



The diet includes planktonic food items picked from the ocean surface.


It is nocturnal at the breeding sites to avoid predation by gulls and skuas.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Alvaro Jaramillo. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton Field Guides. ISBN 0-691-11740-3

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.