IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

In early December, a cacophony of haunting screams and cries accompanies the adults as they return to the breeding colonies to begin nesting (3). Nests are made on a bed of plant debris within earth burrows or natural rock crevices (3) (5). What happens next is poorly studied because of the relative inaccessibility of most breeding colonies. However, in common with other petrels, a single egg will undergo a lengthy incubation period before hatching, with the eventual fledging of young between late May and early June (3) (8). During this time the nesting adult birds travel long distances back and forth from the colonies to the foraging sites (2). The black-capped petrel forages predominantly in multispecies flocks throughout the night but with peak activity at dawn and dusk (2) (3) (7). While some time is spent foraging on the ocean surface, the preferred technique is to snatch items with their bills whilst in flight (3) (7). Fish, squid and invertebrates all form part of the petrel's diet, with fauna associated with Sargassum seaweed reefs being particularly popular. In addition, these birds are not averse to occasionally scavenge behind fishing vessels (2) (3) (7).

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Source: ARKive

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