Storm-petrels are rather small and often dark colored tubenoses with a world wide distribution. All have fine black bills with very pronounced tubes. Storm Petrels are separated in two groups: the long legged, Southern Hemisphere birds subfamily Oceanitinae and the shorter legged species of more northern seas the subfamily Hydrobatinae. The first groups shows more morphological differences than the second. The genera are characterised on colour patterns, the condition of the nasal tubes, tail shape, structure of claws and proportions of the leg bones. The genus Halocyptena are Very small black petrels; bill weak, compressed and decirved; tail wedge shaped; wings rather long and pointed; tarsus rather short – slightly longer than mid-toe with claw and about half length of femur, claws narrow.
Listen to the sound of Least Storm-petrel
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
in years when water temperature is higher. Generally over continental shelf, and may occur closer to shore than some storm-petrels, often being seen from shore in Mexico. Nests on rocky islands.
Nest: Site is reported to be usually in openings among piles of rocks, or in crevices in cliffs. Apparently not in burrows as in many other storm-petrels. Sev
eral pairs may nest close together if good sites are clustered. No nest built, egg laid on bare rock.
Clutch 1. White. Incubation probably by both sexes (as in other storm-petrels), but details unknown.
Young: Probably both parents feed young, as in other storm-petrels, but little is known of their development or age at first flight.
Diet very poorly known; presumably feeds mainly on zooplankton (general term for tiny creatures floating in water). Once reported to feed on larval stages of spiny lobster.
Behavior: Forages mostly by fluttering low over water and taking items from surface. Seldom sits on water to feed, and evidently does not dive underwater.
ugust and September. Numbers quite variable; sometimes hundreds recorded, occasionally none. In mid-autumn moves south along coast of Central America, commonly as far as Panama, a few as far as Peru.