Least Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma microsoma

  • © John Cahill

Sometimes treated as the sole member of the genus Halocyptena, a compound word derived from the Greek words for sea, speedy and winged, the Least Storm-Petrel is the smallest member of the Hydrobatidae. It is a uniformly sooty black bird with a wedge-shaped tail and a paler gray-brown upperwing bar. The flight is often fluttering. Although the Least Storm-Petrel is virtually confined as a breeding bird to the Gulf of California, where it nests under rocks and in crevices on most predator-free islands, as well as on three islands in the San Benito archipelago off western Baja California, during the non-breeding season (September–June) the species wanders at sea as far south as the equator. The species’ diet consists mostly of small plankton.

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© Richard D. Chandler

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Least Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma microsoma), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/lsspet