Photo Caroline Blanvillain
14 inches. Black and white petrel with head, back, throat and wings similarly black and a white belly. Looks like the Tahitian Petrel, Pseudobulweria rostrata but has, unlike the latter, some white feathers on the throat (often difficult to see). Its beak, strong and black, is characteristic of the Petrels: it is hooked at its end and surmounted by two horny tubes upon which the nostrils open. The legs are black and pink. Its flight is graceful alternating with long phases of arched shaped glided flight. Its wedge tail is pointed in flight. Unlike the Tahiti Petrel, it flies over its colonies at day time.
Other pictures of Phoenix Petrel here : http://www.fred-jacq.org/photos.php?al=25
Photos subject to copyright and not free of rights. Thank you!
Breeds in the Marquesas (Hatuta’a, Fatu Huku and Ua Pou islets) and perhaps the Tuamotu but also in Kiribati (Phœnix Islands, Christmas Island), and Pitcairn.
Pelagic, it nests in large clumps of grass (Eragrostis xerophila) and flys over its colony early in the afternoon singing and performing flight displays.
« qui-qui-qui-qui-qui.. » repeated a dozen times very quickly, like a rattle, often ending in a cooing.
To listen the Phoenix Petrel:
Cephalopods, fish, crustaceans and insects.
On Hatuta’a a hundred couples were seen getting ready to nest in April 2002. A single egg, (56 x 42 mm) is laid.
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientific Name: Pterodroma alba (Gmelin, 1789)
Was spotted breeding only on ten different areas where its numbers are falling. The species is vulnerable to extinction because its populations are declining on the islands where cats and rats were introduced. In the Marquesas, the species is present on islands free of black rats and cats but where Polynesian rats are present.
The species is listed in category A of the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.