• Scientific Name: Fregetta grallaria Murphy, 1928 – subspecie titan
  • Polynesian Names: Korue (Rapa)
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Laridae
  • CategorySeabirds
  • Location: Society, Austral, Tuamotu, Gambier, Marquesas

Apearance and identification

7-8 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Little sea bird which ventral area is dark except for the rump which is white. The underside is black striped with white. Throat, upper chest and underside of the tail are black, the belly is white. Its black and webbed legs are relatively short for a storm-petrel. Its black beak is hardly hooked at its end and surmounted by two horny tubes upon which the nostrils open. The tail is rounded.

These birds have a characteristic flight: they seem to hit the surface of the sea with the chest, then use their legs to rebound.

Videos

Voice

No media

Characteristics

The population of Rapa is a sub species endemic to this island (Fregetta Grallaria titan), where it reproduces. This bird is only a visitor in the rest of the Austral Islands, the Marquesas, Tahiti and Moorea. Apart from French Polynesia, it reproduces on the Kermadec Islands, Lord Howe, and Juan Fernandez, in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic.

Breeds at the end of the austral summer in Rapa (December to May). It is active at night. It nests in burrows or on small crevasse. The egg is white with small pink dots, and measures 38 x 27 mm. Reproduction is studied outside French Polynesia. The egg is incubated for 40 days by both sexes.

Pelagic, it nests on small islets around Rapa from 3 to 4 meters above the sea level.

Pee-pee-pee-pee “or” little-little-little “perched high and repeated 20 consecutive times during the parade and in the nests.

Squids and planktonic crustaceans.

Location

The population of Rapa is a sub species endemic to this island (Fregetta Grallaria titan), where it reproduces. This bird is only a visitor in the rest of the Austral Islands, the Marquesas, Tahiti and Moorea. Apart from French Polynesia, it reproduces on the Kermadec Islands, Lord Howe, and Juan Fernandez, in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic.

Breeding

Breeds at the end of the austral summer in Rapa (December to May). It is active at night. It nests in burrows or on small crevasse. The egg is white with small pink dots, and measures 38 x 27 mm. Reproduction is studied outside French Polynesia. The egg is incubated for 40 days by both sexes.

Habitat

Pelagic, it nests on small islets around Rapa from 3 to 4 meters above the sea level.

Voice

Pee-pee-pee-pee “or” little-little-little “perched high and repeated 20 consecutive times during the parade and in the nests.

Food

Squids and planktonic crustaceans.

Status and protection

The species is classified as « Least Concern » (LC) on the IUCN Red List but listed as « Endangered » (EN) on the France and Polynesia 2015 UICN Red List.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.