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
European storm petrel
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.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Year assessed: 2009
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The European Storm Petrel or Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) is a small bird of the storm-petrel family, Hydrobatidae, part of the seabird order Procellariiformes. It is the only member of the genus Hydrobates.
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