Mottled Petrel is a small petrel that breeds on islands near New Zealand.
Non-breeding birds wander widely across the Pacific, with birds commonly
found as far north as the Bering Sea. North American records are much
more common near Alaska than further south on the North American coast, as
longitudinal movement eastward from the breeding grounds seems less
pronounced for non-breeding birds than northward latitudinal movement.
Habitat: Breeds on remote offshore islands.
Non-breeding birds are pelagic, typically found far from shore.
Diet: Feeds on squid, crustaceans, and small fish.
Behavior: Feeds by flying over the water's
surface, dropping down when prey is spotted and skimming prey items at or
just below the surface.
Nesting: The Mottled Petrel lays a single egg when
breeding, placed in a burrow or in a rocky crevice. They mate for life, with
pair bonds renewed each breeding season by caressing and preening each other
with their bills.
Song: Usually silent away from breeding grounds,
but they do have a high "te-te-te-te-te" call given in flight.
Migration: A very long distance migrant, Mottled
Petrels breed on islands near New Zealand. Outside of the breeding season,
they wander widely throughout the Pacific, with many non-breeding birds
evidently spending their time in the far north Atlantic near the Aleutian
Islands. Despite breeding in the south Atlantic, North American
records are much more common far to the north in Alaska, with the species
only being rarely found near the coast as far south as California.
Cook's Petrel, Stejneger's Petrel
Conservation Status: The breeding range is small,
with several of its breeding islands having introduced predators.
Populations are also thought to be in decline. Therefore,
the IUCN lists the Mottled Petrel as "Near