Least storm petrel

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Least storm petrel
340 Least Stormy-Petrel.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Hydrobatidae
Genus: Oceanodroma
O. microsoma
Binomial name
Oceanodroma microsoma
Coues, 1864

The least storm petrel (Oceanodroma microsoma) is a small seabird of the storm petrel family Hydrobatidae. It is 13–15 cm in length, with a wingspan of 32 cm. It is the smallest member of the order Procellariiformes.

It breeds on islands off the Baja Peninsula and Gulf of California of Mexico in rock crevices or small burrows in soft earth and lays a single white egg. Like most petrels, its walking ability is limited to a short shuffle to the burrow. It is a colonial nester.

It spends the rest of the year at sea, reaching as far south as the tropical Pacific South America. It frequently can be seen well offshore of southern California in late summer and autumn.

It feeds on mainly planktonic crustaceans, with a preference of larvae of spiny lobsters. It feeds similarly to other storm petrels, picking food off the surface of the water while in flight.

The least storm petrel suffers losses on some of the breeding islands, particularly from feral cats and rats.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Halocyptena microsoma". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  • "National Geographic" Field Guide to the Birds of North America ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
  • Seabirds, an Identification Guide by Peter Harrison, (1983) ISBN 0-7470-1410-8
  • Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol 1, Josep del Hoyo editor, ISBN 84-87334-10-5
  • "National Audubon Society" The Sibley Guide to Birds, by David Allen Sibley, ISBN 0-679-45122-6

External links[edit]