Bird Families

Birds of continents, rivers, lakes, seas and coasts


  • As for black and white storm pet, toadstools, terns and scooters, then they immediately took off with a noise, as soon as I appeared in the distance.

Synonyms for "storm petrel"

  • tern
  • siphonophore
  • coot
  • wagtail
  • archeopteryx
  • (more synonyms.)

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Gray crane. Bird of 2020 in Russia


Family Stormace (Hydrobatidae)

The storm petrel family includes the smallest representatives of the order. The size of the storm petrels does not exceed the size of the blackbird, some species are as large as a swallow. Their nostril tubes are fused into one and separated inside by a longitudinal septum. These small birds, in places where there is a lot of food, are immediately met in large flocks. The wings of storm petrels are elongated, pointed at the tops, but with the usual number of secondary flight feathers for all birds - up to 13. Birds have elongated webbed legs, a rounded or forked tail, and a hooked beak curved downward. The coloration is often monochromatic - gray or black, some have white undertail or upper tail.

Storm petrels fly low above the water, but not gliding, but flapping fluttering flight. Often they feed on the fly, wiggling their paws in the water and snatching food out of it. Sometimes they sit on the water and feed afloat. They feed on zooplankton, small fish. In places of fishing, they consume its waste.

Storm petrels are widespread, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. They nest on small islands. There are 20 species in the family, of which 3 species nest in Russia and 2 species fly into our waters.

Northern storm petrel (Oceanodroma leucorrhoa) inhabits the northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans. On migrations, it can also be found in the tropics. In Russia, it nests on the Kuril Islands and on Medny Island. Its wing length is 140-160 mm, and its mass is about 40 g. The color of the plumage is generally dark brown, the base of the tail is white, the tail is forked.

About 350 thousand northern storm petrels nest on the Kuril Islands, and their entire world population is estimated at 10 million individuals.

Northern storm petrel nests in burrows up to 1 m long, which are burrowed by males. Occasionally nests in rocks. A single egg is incubated by both parents, replacing each other after 3-4 days. Duration of incubation is 42-50 days. The first 3-4 days of the chick's life is warmed up by one of the parents. The downy chick is very helpless and usually lies with its legs stretched out and its beak on the ground. If the chick is disturbed, he can get to his feet, but he is still unable to walk. It takes about 70 days for a young bird to grow up and start flying.

The voice of the northern storm petrel resembles the short chirping of swallows. During the nesting period, it is a nocturnal bird, the rest of the time it is active day and night.

Gray storm petrel (O. furcata) differs from other storm petrels found in Russia in light gray color and slightly larger size. It nests on the Kuril, Commander and Aleutian islands, on some islands in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and along the western coast of North America to Washington state. By the nature of nesting, it is generally similar to the northern storm petrel, but on migrations it adheres to more open and deeper parts of the ocean.

Above the sea, storm petrels usually stay solitary, but at night they flock to the light of ships in large numbers.

Numerous in the North Atlantic in summer Wilson's storm petrel (Oceanites oceanicus), usually following ships. For the winter, it migrates south, where it nests in Antarctic waters.

The only species of the genus Pelagodroma - white-headed storm petrel (P. marina) - has a white head and a white belly. It breeds on islands near Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and the Subantarctic. It roams in the Indian Ocean.

White-bellied storm petrel (Fregetta tropica), like the white-headed, has a white abdomen, but its head is dark. Breeds on a few islands in the South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.