16 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Fully anthracite grey petrel, with a pale grey throat. Its beak, strong and black, is characteristic of the Petrels: it is hooked at its end and surmounted by two horny tubes after which the nostrils open. The legs are flesh coloured except for their distal portion that are black. His flight is fast and strong. Frequently describes wide arcs. Its tail is pointed.
Nests (possibly or surely) in eastern Polynesia (Ducie, Henderson, Oeno Islands, Pitcairn), Rapa (Austral), the Tuamotu and South Gambier (Moruroa, Fangataufa, observed by the author on several islands of the Acteon Group). Only visits Tahiti and Moorea.
It establishes its colonies on remote atolls and coral islands or volcanic islands and islets. On the atolls, it prefers the oceanic fringe where it can easily take off. It remains at sea outside the breeding season.
A characteristic “Hoo-hoo-hoo” in the colonies. Sings on the ground and in flight during day time.
To listen the Murphy’s Petrel:
Cephalopods, fish and crustaceans.
It nests on the ground in natural cavities. Breeds in April (early parades) to November in the southern Tuamotu. The colonies are visited at day time. Male and female convent alternately. Incubation lasts 50 to 54 days. The young is raised for a hundred days.
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientifique Name: Pterodroma ultima Murphy, 1949
Upo’a (Tubuai), e’upo (Rapa)
This species has a restricted distribution. Its habitat is gradually invaded by predator species eating the eggs and the young individuals, introduced by Man. The rat eradication on Ducie where lives the largest colony of Murphy’s Petrel is hopeful to protect this species.