Polynesian Storm Petrel (Nesofregetta fuliginosa)

The Polynesian Storm Petrel (Nesofregetta fuliginosa) is a species of seabird in the Hydrobatidae family. It is placed in the monotypic genus Nesofregetta.

This is the largest storm petrel, measuring up to 25cm from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail.

Polynesian storm petrelMarkedly polymorphic, several subspecies were described, and light birds were even considered a species on their own (“White-throated Storm-petrel”). Not even subspecies are generally accepted today however.

It is found in ChileFrench PolynesiaKiribatiNew CaledoniaVanuatu, possibly American Samoa, possibly Fiji, and possibly Samoa.

Its natural habitats are open seas, rocky shores, and sandy shores. It is threatened by introduced predators.

On the 17th-26th July 2008 Fiji Ptrel Expedition two Polynesian Storm-petrels (the first confirmed in the Fiji and Samoa biogeographical region for 132 years) were observed.

The seabird team aboard consisted of Hadoram Shirihai (Israel), Dick Watling (Fiji), Tony Pym (England), Patric Blomquist (Sweden), Jörg Kretzschmar (Germany), Geoff Jones (Australia) and Dick Newell (England).

Habitat Ecology and Behaviour

Polynesian Storm Petrel Rainer ErtelA storm petrel of the tropical Pacific, the Polynesian Storm Petrel is not known to disperse far from its breeding islands, perhaps along the South Equatorial Current. It usually breeds in small loosely-formed colonies, with nests placed under overhanging grass or in rock screes or crevices. A single egg is laid. Current records throughout its range are from low, uninhabited islands, but old records indicate nesting in upland areas.

The Polynesian Storm Petrel has a very characteristic flight in a fair wind, springing up from the water with long legs dangling, sails in an arc on broad stiff wings before falling back to the water and then repeating the process. In flight the feet usually dangle loosely or project beyond the tail.



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