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Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

Silhouette SeabirdsSeabirds
Fork-tailed Storm-PetrelHydrobates furcatus
  • ORDER: Procellariiformes
  • FAMILY: Hydrobatidae

Basic Description

The Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, a beautiful silvery-bluish seabird, spends most of its life over the cold waters of the open North Pacific Ocean. Foraging in small groups far out to sea, these small "tubenose" seabirds use their refined sense of smell to track down food by its scent from many miles away. They prey mostly on zooplankton and small fish, which they capture by hovering above the ocean and dipping down to grasp with the bill, often pattering the surface with their feet to steady themselves.

More ID Info
image of range map for Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

To see Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, take a pelagic bird watching trip into deep waters off the northern Pacific coast (northern California through Alaska). Such trips usually last from early morning until late afternoon and are a great way to see many species of seabirds including albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, storm-petrels, and jaegers. (Bring warm clothing and seasickness medication.)

Other Names

  • Paíño Rabihorcado (Spanish)
  • Océanite à queue fourchue (French)
  • Cool Facts