Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Least Concern

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis)


French: Pétrel à ailes noires German: Schwarzflügel-Sturmvogel Spanish: Petrel alinegro

Oestrelata nigripennis


, 1893,

Kermadec Islands


Usually considered part of assemblage referred to as subgenus Cookilaria. Closely related to P. axillaris. Monotypic.


SW & C Pacific Ocean, breeding from Lord Howe I and Norfolk I E to Kermadec Is, extending N to islets off New Caledonia and S to islets off North Island (New Zealand) and Chatham Is; also Cook Is and Austral Is (SC Pacific). Breeding suspected but not proven in E Australia (islets off Queensland and New South Wales)#R#R. Regularly recorded and recently found breeding on Round I (N Mauritius)#R, and recorded also on St Paul I#R, but status in Indian Ocean still unclear.

Descriptive notes

28–31 cm; 131–228 g; wingspan 63–71 cm. Rather small grey-and-white, masked, gadfly petrel with boldly contrasting underwing pattern. Forehead grey or... read more


Apparently silent at sea. Calls all day at colonies in Norfolk I group. Flight call a rapidly... read more


Marine and highly pelagic, avoiding land except during breeding. Breeds on oceanic islands, often... read more

Food and feeding

Little known; mainly cephalopods and prawns, but also includes insects (sea skaters, Halobates), at least occasionally and perhaps... read more


Returns to breeding sites between mid and late Oct (Kermadecs, Phillip I and New Caledonia) and mid to late Nov (Chathams), with egg-laying... read more


Concentrated in SW Pacific during breeding season, mainly over subtropical waters between 25º... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population perhaps numbers 8,000,000–10,000,000 birds and range is currently expanding; 2,00,000–3,000,000 pairs on... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis). 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 22 February 2020).