Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Zino's Petrel - Pterodroma madeira
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General Comments Zino's Petrel was recently split from Fea's Petrel; it breeds only on the island of Madeira in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. It looks very similar to the Fea's Petrel, differing mainly in its smaller body size than Fea's, its thinner bill, and its greater amount of white in the center of the underwing. Because of its tiny range, numbers of this species are so small that it is considered as Endangered. Only in the last several years have reference materials, with photos, been published.

Petrels, Albatrosses & Storm-Petrels of North America -- a Photographic Guide, written by Howell, was published in 2012; this book contains a photo of a bird that he considered to be a Zino's Petrel, taken on a pelagic trip off of Hatteras on 16 Sep 1995*. This photo apparently was forgotten about for 16-17 years, and only surfaced when his book was published. The NC BRC originally did not accept this record in 2012, but a re-vote was taken in 2013, with committee members "armed" with new additional reference materials. In 2013, the NC BRC accepted the record [Chat 78:8-13 link]. This is the only accepted record of Zino's Petrel for North American waters.

Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank GNR
Coastal Plain Though only one record (see above), probably casual rather than accidental; likely to be easily overlooked as a Fea's Petrel. To be looked for mainly in the fall, as Howell (2012) states that the birds breed from mid-May to early Oct, and thus the fall season is the most likely time of occurrence off the East Coast.
Piedmont No record.
Mountains No record.
Finding Tips Be aware of this very rare species on a pelagic trip, particularly in the fall season.
Attribution LeGrand[2023-03-15], LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2014-06-08]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.