Family Northern Storm-petrels (Hydrobatidae)

Least Concern

Band-rumped Storm-petrel (Hydrobates castro)


French: Océanite de Castro German: Madeirawellenläufer Spanish: Paíño de Madeira
Other common names: Madeiran Storm-petrel, Grant’s Storm-petrel (granti)

Thalassidroma castro


, 1851,

Desertas Islets, Madeira


Recent molecular studies indicated that this species is sister to all other members of genus#R#R; it has therefore been proposed that it be separated in monotypic genus Thalobata#R#R. Several molecular and morphological studies, as well as investigation of vocalizations#R#R, have revealed that the species hitherto known as H. (= Oceanodroma) castro actually consists of several distinct taxa, one of which has already been separated as H. monteiroi (which see) and that breeding in Cape Verde Is, H. jabejabe is now all provisionally recognized at species level, while cool-season breeders in Azores, Madeira, Salvages and the Berlengas Is (off C Portugal) differ from hot-season breeders (in Madeira and Salvages) in vocalizations#R and morphology#R and have been proposed as granti, but genetic differences less obvious than those found among Azores populations#R#R, and all are therefore retained meantime in castro, pending further investigation. Further, studies of vocalizations and phylogeography suggest that a number of additional forms exist elsewhere in the currently defined range of H. castro and that these, too, may merit treatment as full species#R#R#R. Treated as monotypic.


Tropical and subtropical Atlantic, breeding in E Atlantic from Berlengas Is (off C Portugal) and Azores S to Ascension I and St Helena; also in tropical and subtropical Pacific, breeding in E Japan, Kauai (Hawaii) and Galapagos Is.

Descriptive notes

18·5–20·5 cm (castro), 19·5–21·5 cm (E Atlantic cool-season breeders) or 17·5–19·5 cm (Galapagos); 36... read more


Three main vocalizations are known: the Flight Call, which has been likened to rubbing a wet finger... read more


Marine and highly pelagic, occurring in warm waters; rarely approaches land except near colonies.... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly planktonic crustaceans, small fish and squid; also feeds on some human refuse and scraps scattered by predators. Around Galapagos... read more


Season varies locally, with return to colonies commencing c. 2 months prior to egg-laying and no clear-cut pre-laying exodus evident in... read more


Apparently some birds largely sedentary, since colonies visited irregularly throughout year; others... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread, many islands holding several thousand breeding pairs, with an overall population of perhaps > 46,000 pairs and 150,000... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Band-rumped Storm-petrel (Hydrobates castro). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 July 2019).