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Black-capped Petrel Pterodroma hasitata

  • Order: Procellariiformes
  • Family: Procellariidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Andrew Farnsworth

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


An eerie "oooow, oooow, oooow-eekkk"; a series of yelp-like sounds; given almost exclusively around the colony, though may be heard at sea close to breeding areas.  Although petrels were generally silent at sea, Simons et al. (2006) summarized that individuals at chum slicks occasionally uttered single "waaahh" or "aaa-aw," when feeding (Wingate 1964, Imber 1985, Lee, pers. obs.). On one occasion in December Lee noted that a large number of petrels he saw at sea were vocal.

Nonvocal Sounds

Presumably this species also has a tendency to produce a flutelike sound during nocturnal overflights of the colony, apparently created by wind passing over the birds’ wings.  This behavior has also been reported for Hawaiian Petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis and other  species of Pterodroma.

Recommended Citation

Farnsworth, A. (2010). Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.