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Tuatara: Volume 21, Issues 1 and 2 (New Zealand Albatrosses and Petrels: an Identification Guide)

38. Black-Winged Petrel — (Pterodroma hypoleuca nigripennis) — Plate 15

38. Black-Winged Petrel
(Pterodroma hypoleuca nigripennis)
Plate 15

Field Characters: 53/28. A small grey and white gadfly petrel with black upperwings and patterned underwings. Upperbody ashy grey, with black eye patch and tail. Upperwing brownish black with black open ‘M’ marking across the back. Underbody white. Underwing white, with a conspicuous black leading margin extending diagonally across to a point midway between the carpal joint and white axillaries.

Bill black, feet fleshy-pink with dark extremities.

Differs from Cook's (34) and Pycroft's (35) Petrels by its conspicuous underwing pattern; from Chatham Island (37) Petrel by having less black on the underwing in conjunction with white axillaries (cf. Fig. 38, Pl. 15, and Fig. 37, Pl. 16), and from P. leucoptera (36 and 58) by its uniformly grey upperbody parts. Distinguished from the larger, similarly patterned Mottled Petrel (39) by its paler upperparts and lack of a dark belly.

Flight a fairly high circling and fast swooping low to water. Aerial courtship flights accompanied by high-pitched calls commonly observed during summer.

Breeding in late summer at Kermadec, Three Kings and Chatham Islands. Disperses widely into tropical and btropical waters.