• Madeiran Storm-petrel 


Scientific name
Oceanodroma castro (Harcourt, 1851)

Red Data Book Status
Least concern


    • Available tours to watch this bird 

Birding Pelagic Trip | Desertas Island Expedition

  • Identification

A small seabird with blackish-brown plumage and a narrow white band across the rump that extends slightly onto the under-tail coverts. The wing-bar across the upper-wing coverts has a slightly paler brownish-grey.
It can be confused with some related species especially with the Leach´s Storm-petrel that has a more forked tail and a different white patch on the rump.

  • Voice

A squeaky "whikka-whikka similar to rubbing a wet finger on a glass. (listen to the Madeira Strom-petrel calls)

  • Ecology

Nests can be found under rocks, crevices or rocky slopes near the ocean. These birds are strictly nocturnal at the breeding colonies. The population has two distinct breeding seasons for a different group of birds, one know has the Hot period from April to September and the Cold season from September to February.

  • Distribution

The Madeira Storm-petrel is present in the Pacific and eastern Atlantic Oceans. It breeds on remote islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago and Galapagos, and other small islands in the Atlantic.

In Macaronesia is present in the archipelagos of Madeira, Canaries and Azores. In Madeira the species breeds in most part of the islands with important populations especially on the Desertas and Selvagens Islands.


That the 'Cold season' and 'Hot season' populations use the same nest sites at different times and also have different vocalizations. 

  • Madeiran Storm-petrel Sighting


 © AIFagundes



August 2011, Ilheu de Cima - Porto Santo Island © Birds & Company

  • Literature

[1] Bolton, M., Smith, A.L., Gomez-Diaz, E., Friesen, V.L., Medeiros, R., Bried, J., Roscales J.L. and Furness, R.W. (2008) Monteiro's Storm-petrelOceanodroma monteiroi: a new species from the Azores, Ibis: 150(4): 717-727.

[2] Nunes, M. (2000 b): Madeiran Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma castro) in the Desertas Islands (Madeira Archipelago): A new case of two distinct populations breeding annually? Arquipélago. Life and Marine Sciences Supplement 2 (Part A) pp 175-179.

[3] Robb, M., Mullarney, K., and Sound Approach. 2008. Petrels Night and Day: A Sound Approach Guide.

[4] Soberanes-González, C. and Arizmendi, M.C. (2010) Band-rumped storm-petrel (Oceanodroma castro). In: Schulenberg, T.S. (Ed.) Neotropical Birds Online. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca. Available at: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=104956 

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