Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus)


Petrels are part of the tubenose family of seabirds, which also include the fulmars, albatrosses and shearwaters. The storm petrels are very small birds that you usually see flying fast by very close to the water's surface where the air currents are strongest. We mostly see them when departing from hafnarfjörður, Keflavík or Grindavík harbours. We don’t see them often because they’re mainly nocturnal (only come out at night). They are the smallest seabirds in the world. Scientists research abundance by playing a recorded call near to their burrow or crevice and see if they respond.

Average Length: 16 cm
Average Weight: 27 g
Wingspan: 38 cm
Diet: Surface plankton, small fish
Est. population around Iceland: ~ 100,000 pairs
Residence Period: Early April to Late November
Nesting habitat: Dirt burrows or rock crevices
Nesting Period: Early June to Early September
Clutch size (No eggs): 1
Incubation time (days): 38-50
Fledging time: 56-73
Typical life span (years): 11
Age at first breeding (years): 4
IUCN world Status: Least concern
Major Threats: Predation, food contamination from pollution
Other Names: Stormsvala, Lille stormsvale, Merikeiju, Sturmschwalbe, Uccello delle tempeste, Nawalnik burzowy, Paiño común, Stormvogeltje, Pétrel tempête, Havsvale, Paínho-de-cauda-quadrada