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Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma furcata


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Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
credit: Carla Stanley

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Family: Hydrobatidae, Storm-Petrels view all from this family

Description ALL BIRDS Mainly pale gray, but note dark and white pattern on upper wing coverts that creates a striking "V" Seen from below, note the dark underwing coverts. At close range, dark eye patch can be discerned.

Dimensions Length: 8-9" (20-23 cm)

Habitat Nests on remote islands, but otherwise seen at sea. Fairly common northward from latitude of central California, but seldom seen from land.

Observation Tips Easiest to see on pelagic trips.

Range California, Alaska, Northwest

Voice Silent at sea, but utters rasping calls at breeding colonies.

Discussion Mainly gray plumage makes this storm-petrel unmistakable within our region. Tail is deeply forked and wings are relatively broad by storm-petrel standards. Flight is powerful, but relaxed, with occasional glides. Sexes are similar.