• Scientific Name: Pterodroma nigripennis (Rothschild, 1893)
  • Polynesian Names: Titi (Rapa)
  • Order: Procellariiformes
  • Family: Procellariidae
  • Category: Seabirds
  • Location: Society, Austral, Marquesas, And also New Caledonia, Lord Howe, Tonga, Cook Islands, New Zealand

Apearance and identification

12 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Blue-grey on top of the body, crown and back, the rest is dark grey with the exception of a black “M” stretched on the wings. The rim of the eye is black. The cheeks and the ventral surface of the bird are white except for an incomplete grey necklace around the throat and wings which feathers are grey and have a black band on their front edge. Its beak, strong and black, is characteristic of the Petrels: it is hooked at its end is surmounted by two horny tubes upon which the nostrils open. The legs are black and pink. The flight is rapid with sudden changes of course, and glides as the other petrels. The tail is rounded. Acrobatic aerial displays, in late afternoon, characteristics of this species.

Videos

No media

Voice

Characteristics

It breeds in Rapa but leaves the island outside of the reproduction season. Visits Tubuai, in the Society Islands and the Marquesas. Also present in the South West Pacific. Reproduces also in New Caledonia, Lord Howe, Tonga, Cook Islands, New Zealand (Chatham Islands, Kermadec, Portland).

It nests at night in burrows under one meter long. It lays an egg in December, oval and white, 51 x 37 mm. In New Zealand, the young hatch in February-March and fly in April-May.

Pelagic outside the breeding seasons. In Rapa, its colonies are established only on the islets.

« peet » high-pitched, while in the air, repeated 4-6 times. On the ground, “pee” increasingly louder.

It dives to catch its prey: shrimp, fish, squid and cuttlefish.

Location

It breeds in Rapa but leaves the island outside of the reproduction season. Visits Tubuai, in the Society Islands and the Marquesas. Also present in the South West Pacific. Reproduces also in New Caledonia, Lord Howe, Tonga, Cook Islands, New Zealand (Chatham Islands, Kermadec, Portland).

Breeding

It nests at night in burrows under one meter long. It lays an egg in December, oval and white, 51 x 37 mm. In New Zealand, the young hatch in February-March and fly in April-May.

Habitat

Pelagic outside the breeding seasons. In Rapa, its colonies are established only on the islets.

Voice

« peet » high-pitched, while in the air, repeated 4-6 times. On the ground, “pee” increasingly louder.

Food

It dives to catch its prey: shrimp, fish, squid and cuttlefish.

Status and protection

The distribution is certainly limited by the presence of introduced predators (cat, dog or black rat).

The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List but “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.