Markham's Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma markhami

  • Order: Procellariiformes
  • Family: Hydrobatidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Jacob Drucker and Alvaro Jaramillo


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Markham's Storm-Petrel
eBird range map for Markham's Storm-Petrel

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

At sea, Markham's Storm-Petrel favors the cool waters of the Humboldt current off Peru and northern Chile, but may be found between the latitutes of of 25°N and 30°S (Murphy 1936), and as far west as 118.02°W (Spear and Ainley 2007). In austral autumn (the nonbreeding season), highest densities have been documented just offshore from central Peru. In austral spring, some high density remains off southern Peru and northern Chile, but an even higher concentration congregates about 1700 km west of there as well (Spear and Ainley 2007).

The only known breeding site is on the Paracas Peninsula, in Ica, Peru (Jahncke 1993). There are surely other breeding localities, as much of the population still remains unaccounted for. Inland sightings and roadkill of adults and fledgelings around the Salar Grande, a large expanse of salt flats near Iquique, Chile (Brooke 2004), provides strong evidence for their presence in the Atacama desert of northern Chile and southern Peru.

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Offshore, Markham's Storm-Petrel favors the cool, inshore waters of the Humboldt Current, and less so the Costa Rica and Southern Equatorial Currents. Density increases with salinity, and decreases with sea-surface temperature, wind speed above 25 km/hr and distance from mainland. Water of approximately 12°C and 32-33.5 ppt salinity are preferred (Spear and Ainley 2007).

Breeding habitat known only from the Paracas Peninsula, where birds utilize holes and crevices in saltpeter deposits. The Salar Grande salt flats in Chile also is likely suitable breeding habitat, as recently dead fledgelings have been found at a mine there (Brooke 2004).

Historical changes

None known.

Fossil history

None known.

Recommended Citation

Drucker, J. and A. Jaramillo (2013). Markham's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma markhami), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.