• Madeira's / Zino's Petrel 


Scientific name
Pterodroma madeira (Mathews, 1934)

Taxonomic Status
Endemic Species of Archipelago of Madeira 

Red Data Book Status

    • Available tours to this bird 

Birding Pelagic Trip | Desertas Island Expedition | Birding Exclusive Night Trip

  • Identification

A small gadfly petrel similar to Feae's Petrel but with smaller body and bill. The upperparts are dark grey with a w-pattern, the underwings has a whitish patch on the primary bases.

The specie have a very characteristic flight, giving very pronounced arches, first rising several meters above the sea and then getting down. This flight behavior occurs mostly with strong winds.

  • Voice

Wails and moans similar to a – ooooh-oooeeh-oooh. 

  • Ecology

Pelagic seabird that spend most part of their life cycle at sea. Birds arrive to the breeding area in late March or early April and a single egg is laid in mid-May to early June. They excavate their burrows on small vegetated ledges over 1600 meters above sea level. The young fledge in late September or early October and probably just return to the colony 4 or 5 years later. Its diet consists of small squid and fish.

  • Distribution

The species is restricted to the central mountain massif of Madeira and has a world population of only 75 to 80 pairs.


In 1960 the species was thought to be extinct but in 1969 was rediscovered by a local ornithologist, Paul Alexander Zino.


  • Madeira's / Zino's Petrel Sightings


May 2012, Madeira Island © René Pop 


   May 2012, Madeira Island © René Pop 


Madeira Island © Gonçalo Silva

  • Literature

[1] Menezes, D., Oliveira, P., Ramirez, I. 2010. Pterodromas do Arquipélago da Madeira. Duas espécies em recuperação. Serviço do Parque Natural da Madeira, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.

[2] Mullarney, Killian; Svensson, Lars; Zetterstrom, Dan; Grant, Peter (1999). Collins Bird Guide. London: Collins. p. 72. 

[3] Robb, M.; Mullarney, K; and Sound Approach. (2008). Petrels Night and Day: A Sound Approach Guide. The Sound Approach: Dorset, UK.

[4] Shirihai, Hadoram; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Zino, Francis (July 2010). "Identification of Fea's, Desertas and Zino's Petrels at sea". Birding World 23 (6): 239–275.

[5] Velasco, D.; Sangardia, J. 2010. Identificación de Petrel Gon Gon de Desertas P. (feae) deserta y Petrel de Madeira P. madeira en el mar. http://lanzarotepelagics.blogspot.com

[6] Zino, F.; Phillips, R.; Biscoito, M. 2011. Zino's Petrel movements at sea - a preliminary analysis of datalogger results. Birding World 24(5): 216-219.



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