• Scientifique Name: Puffinus bailloni Bonaparte, 1857
  • Polynesian Names: Tira’o (Maupiti), karako (Mangareva), ka’ako (Marquises)
  • Order: Procellariiformes
  • Family: Procellariidae
  • CategorySeabirds
  • Location: Tuamotu, Gambier, Marquises, Société, Austral, Tropical and subtropical Oceans

Apearance and identification

12 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. The top of the body is black-brown, the ventral side is white except for the wings which are black. A small black fringe on the leading edge of the wings. The black beak, is characteristic of this bird. It is hooked at its end and its tubular nostrils open on top of the beak. It is much more elongated and tapered that the petrel’s beak. The legs are black and pink. In flight, it alternates long flight phases hovered at short wing beats flying very low on the surface of the water. Its tail is long and black.

Videos

Voice

Characteristics

Tropical and subtropical areas of Atlantic, Indian and Pacific. It breeds in the Tuamotu, Gambier, Marquesas, Society Islands and also Austral Islands (a few couples).

Nests in burrows, cavities in cliff or under tufts of grass. Forms dense colonies. An egg 48 x 34 mm is laid. The breeding season seems very spread out.

In Tahiti, it nests on high cliffs. It also appreciates the atolls and volcanic islands. This bird fishes within 150 km around the islands where it breeds. It gains its colonies at night only.

Only around nesting sites and night. The call, often emitted in flight, is a series of sounds composed of an inhaled syllable followed by a series of exhaled syllables in rattle.

Fish but mostly cephalopods. The bird fishes alone or, more rarely in groups.

Location

Tropical and subtropical areas of Atlantic, Indian and Pacific. It breeds in the Tuamotu, Gambier, Marquesas, Society Islands and also Austral Islands (a few couples).

Breeding

Nests in burrows, cavities in cliff or under tufts of grass. Forms dense colonies. An egg 48 x 34 mm is laid. The breeding season seems very spread out.

Habitat

In Tahiti, it nests on high cliffs. It also appreciates the atolls and volcanic islands. This bird fishes within 150 km around the islands where it breeds. It gains its colonies at night only.

Voice

Only around nesting sites and night. The call, often emitted in flight, is a series of sounds composed of an inhaled syllable followed by a series of exhaled syllables in rattle.

Food

Fish but mostly cephalopods. The bird fishes alone or, more rarely in groups.

Status and protection

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

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