Bird of the Week, November 4, 2011
Black-capped Petrel

Black-capped Petrel by Glen Tepke

This long-winged, dark-capped petrel was believed extinct until its rediscovery in 1963, and is still a mysterious species. Its spooky-sounding calls, echoing among their remote mountain haunts at night, have earned this petrel its local name Diablotín or “little devil”.


Nesting birds probably commute large distances from their breeding sites in the mountains to foraging sites at sea where they feed on fish, invertebrates, and squid. Black-capped Petrels are nocturnal and move to and from the nest sites between twilight and dawn.


The Black-capped Petrel is threatened by predation from introduced mammals, deforestation, human encroachment and exploitation. Urbanization and associated increases in artificial lights may increase risks of collision with trees, wires, and buildings.  At sea, offshore energy development and oil spills pose additional hazards.


ABC and partners recently completed the species’ conservation action plan and are working to find and protect additional nesting sites in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


Click here for more information on ABC's efforts to save this and other seabirds!



Photo: Black-capped Petrel by Glen Tepke; Range Map, NatureServe