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Kermadec Petrel

KERMADEC PETREL

APPEARANCE AND IDENTIFICATION

15 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. The plumage varies in colour. The palest individuals are dark brown on top of the body, with both a white head and the underside of the bodies. The darker ones are difficult to distinguish from the Herald Petrel (Pterodroma heraldica) they are uniformly dark apart from grey areas on the forehead and on the face. All have a light area at the base of the flight feathers and on the underside of the wings. Its beak is strong and black and 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 usually pink, but can be completely black. It flies slowly alternating ample wing beats with long gliding flights, skimming the waves. Its tail is rounded. During sexual parades, he is able to perform real aerobatics.

Order: Procellariiformes

Family: Procellariidae

Category: Seabirds


LOCATION
In Polynesia, breeds in Rapa, Tubuai and few southern Tuamotu atolls. The species is present elsewhere (Easter Island, Kermadec, Lord Howe, Pitcairn), especially in the southern and central tropical Pacific.


CHARACTERISTICS

Pelagic, breeds in large colonies on islands, atolls and on the heights of volcanic islands.

Call loudly in the colonies « yuk-ker-a-oo-yuk » with a particularly strong final note, can be repeated three times in a row. Emits its vocalizations both in flight and on the ground.

To listen the Kermadec Petrel:
https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Pterodroma-neglecta

Feeds on squids and crustaceans caught at the surface of the water. Floats on the sea or plunges from the air.

It can breed throughout the year but most eggs are laid from October to March during the austral summer. A white egg (64 x 47 mm) is laid under a thick vegetation into a depression. Although reported in some guides as strictly nocturnal, in French Polynesia it lives ashore to visit the colonies at the beginning of the afternoon until the sun sets. The reproduction is studied on populations found outside of French Polynesia. The egg hatches after 50-52 days of incubation and young leaves the nest after 110-130 days.

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

Bibliography:
https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/442292
http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=889232C779ABDB24
http://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/petrel.des.kermadec.html
Atlas des oiseaux marins nicheurs de Polynésie française et du groupe Pitcairn
http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22698027
http://www.hbw.com/ibc/species/kermadec-petrel-pterodroma-neglecta
https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22698027/132620272

NAMES

Scientifique Name: Pterodroma neglecta (Schlegel, 1863)

Polynesian Names:
Upo’a (Tubuai), ke’a (Rapa)

LOCATION
  • Austral (Rapa)
  • South Tuamotu
  • Group Pitcairn

STATUS AND PROTECTION

On land, birds suffer from the predation of rats. Goats, when present at nesting sites, trample or graze vegetation used as shelter by birds and thereby disturb colonies.

The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List but « Near Threatened » (NT) on the France and Polynesia 2015 UICN Red List.