A storm petrel resting on the ground at night

Storm petrel

Storm petrels avoid being attacked by skuas and gulls by only returning to their nests in the dead of night. The little seabirds spend much of their time over the sea and hunt for small fish and crustaceans by fluttering over water and dancing or pattering their feet on the waves. Flocks of storm petrels can also sometimes be spotted following in the wake of trawlers in pursuit of food. The smallest of the European seabirds, storm petrels are barely larger than a sparrow and sport a white-feathered rump. The birds breed in colonies and favour rocky ground and islands on which to make their underground nests.

Did you know?
Around 90% of the breeding population is found in the UK, Ireland and the Faroe Islands.

Scientific name: Hydrobates pelagicus

Rank: Species

Common names:

European storm petrel

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The Storm petrel can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Storm petrel distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Tubenoses
  6. Hydrobatidae
  7. Hydrobates
  8. Storm petrel

BBC News about Storm petrel