Markhams Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma markhami)

Markhams Storm-petrel

[order] PROCELLARIIFORMES | [family] Hydrobatidae | [latin] Oceanodroma markhami | [authority] Salvin, 1883 | [UK] Markhams Storm-petrel | [FR] Oceanite de Markham | [DE] Russ-Wellenlaufer | [ES] Paino Ahumado | [NL] Humboldts Stormvogeltje


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Oceanodroma markhami PO e


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 Oceanodroma consists of medium-sized petrels; plumage dark or greyish, often with pale rumps; tail more or less forked; tarsus short , middle toe with claw and scutellate; claws narrow.

Physical charateristics

It is a large and all-dark-brown storm petrel, quite similar to the northern hemisphere migratory Black Storm-Petrel. It has a pale bar on underwing reaching forward to edge of wing. Has a deeper forked tail than conspecifics.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 21 cm size max.: 25 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Pacific Ocean : East. Oceanodroma markhami breeds on the Paracas peninsula, Peru, and additional colonies are likely on other islands and in the coastal desert of Peru and Chile


It occurs in tropical waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, spending July-September (and possibly longer) in warm equatorial waters, and January-July in the cooler waters of the Peru Current. Birds on Paracas breed in small, dispersed colonies up to 5 km from the sea on sloping ground, usually where saltpetre deposits offer fissures and holes for nesting


Birds on Paracas breed in small, dispersed colonies up to 5 km from the sea on sloping ground. While Paracas birds fledge in November, grounded fledglings are mostly found near Iquique, Chile, in March-April. Up until a few years ago nearly nothing was known of its breeding. A colony of over 1000 nest was found in the Paracas Peninsula, Peru recently, under saltpeter deposits, between 200 and 300m above sea level, some up to 5 km inland. Still, the vast majority of Markham’s Storm-Petrels observed offshore remain unaccounted for; so many other colonies are thought to exist. In Chile various lines of evidence, such as recently fledged young away from the ocean, suggest that nesting may occur well inland in the desert in that country.

Feeding habits

They feed opportunistically both inshore and offshore on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods

Video Markhams Storm-petrel


copyright: Peter Fraser


Data on overall population size, trends and threats is lacking.
Markhams Storm-petrel status Data Deficient


Probably disperses along Humboldt Current between c. 15 degrees N and 26 degrees S; some birds apparently off coast of Peru all year round.

Distribution map

Markhams Storm-petrel distribution range map

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