Pincoya Storm Petrel, Oceanites pincoyae, a New Seabird for Science

Pincoya Storm Petrel, Gulf of Corcovado, March 2007, Photo © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions
Pincoya Storm Petrel, Gulf of Corcovado, Los Lagos, Chile, March 2007, Photo © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

A number of observers including ourselves had remarked for years the regular occurrence of odd “Wilson’s” storm petrels often spotted during the ferry crossing from continental Lake District.
They differed from Wilson’s seen elsewhere in their much paler wing bars and the extent of white both around the vent and in the outer tail feathers, and in their unique “mouse runs” with folded wings over the surface while feeding both in rafts and in small, scattered groups with fewer individuals.

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Pincoya Storm Petrel. When sitting at close range, the extent of white in both wings and body, especially flanks and rump, becomes quite evident. Seno de Reloncaví, Los Lagos, Chile. 
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The whitish loral patch in front of the eye is a feature present in most juvenile birds. Seno de Reloncaví, Lake District, Chile.
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In flight, the white wing bar, rump and vent show quite well as viewed from the sides. Seno de Reloncaví, Los Lagos, Chile.
Pincoya Storm Petrel, Photo © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions
The conspicuous white underwing panel and extent of white rump are also good field marks. Chacao, Los Lagos, Chile.

The range of this species seems to be pretty local and restricted to the province of Los Lagos in Chile, specifically the waters around Puerto Montt and Chiloé Island, including Chacao channel and especially in the relatively protected waters of Reloncaví Sound and Gulf of Corcovado, north and east from the Island, respectively.

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The “mouse run” with wings folded is a unique behaviour to Pincoya Storm Petrel. Seno de Reloncaví, Los Lagos, Chile.
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Pincoya Storm Petrel has relatively long legs and feet with yellow webs. Seno de Reloncaví, Los Lagos, Chile.

If you want to know more about this new species and its description, you can read the original description published at the AOU’s The Auk:

Auk-Pincoya-cover

And of course, you can see Pincoya Storm Petrel for yourself in our following programs:

Chile Birding Adventure

Chile’s Lake District and Chiloé Island

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