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15 Amaze-wing Facts About The Hawaiian Petrel For Kids

Looking for fun and interesting facts about a Hawaiian petrel? Learn about these amazing birds and discover other animals, from tiny insects to giant mammals!

The Hawaiian petrel scientific name is Pterodroma sandwichensis. This creature was split as a separate species from the dark-rumped petrel recently. The Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) population is not severely fragmented. These petrels are fully migrants. The distribution of these petrels is interesting. These petrels are found in 6-10 locations. The extant breeding Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) distribution is found in the United States. Extant and vagrant populations are found in Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines. Extant populations of these petrels are also found in Kiribati and Minor Outlying Islands in the United States. Few petrels are also found in French Polynesia. They are found in elevations ranging from 2788-9842 ft (849.7-2999.8 m). This avian is called 'Ua'u in Hawaiian. It is named this after its haunting call 'oo ah oo'. This call is heard after sunset.

Like reading about this species? Want to know why they have such a status? Let's move on. If you like reading about this bird, you may also like reading about the magpie and the prairie falcon.

Hawaiian Petrel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Hawaiian petrel?

The Hawaiian petrel is a bird belonging to the phylum Chordata, order Procellariiformes, and genus Pterodroma.

What class of animal does a Hawaiian petrel belong to?

The Hawaiian petrel belongs to the class Aves, that is, it is a bird.

How many Hawaiian petrels are there in the world?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, there are 7,500-16,600 mature individuals in the world. Also, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the population trend is showing a decline for this species.

Where does a Hawaiian petrel live?

The ua‘u is found in the Hawaiian Islands and the Galapagos Islands on the world map.

What is a Hawaiian petrel's habitat?

The ua‘u habitat comprises shrublands, grasslands, and forests. This bird can live in both terrestrial habitat and marine habitat. It is found in the marine Oceanic habitat and marine Neritic habitat on the world map.

Who does Hawaiian petrel live with?

These Endangered petrels live in colonies on the islands.

How long does a Hawaiian petrel live?

The generation length is 19 years for this bird.

How do they reproduce?

Nesting by this bird takes place amongst the crevices of rocks and burrows. The months of March to October serve as the breeding season. One egg is laid by the female. The egg is white in color. It is incubated by both the male and the female. After the egg hatches, the adults leave the nesting area during the day. They return to the nesting area or the burrows only at night. Feeding of the chicks in the nests and burrows is done through regurgitation. Feeding is done with the food obtained during the day. Often, the chicks are left for long periods without parenting care in the crevices. The chicks turn to fledglings early for the areas in Maui and later for the other areas. In Maui, this incident occurs during the months of September to November. For the other areas, this happens in the months of October to December. Breeding habits differ according to the location. By December, almost all areas are empty.

These creatures start visiting the breeding colonies when they are about three years of age. However, it is very interesting to note that they do not breed until they are about five to six years of age. The petrels in Maui arrive early. They arrive in their breeding areas late in the month of February. However, the petrels in the islands apart from Maui arrive about a month later. Such behavior is found to be fascinating by ornithologists.

What is their conservation status? 

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the uau Hawaiian petrel is classified as Endangered.

Hawaiian Petrel Fun Facts

What does Hawaiian petrel look like?

The seabird is medium in size and it has a tubenose. The bird has a white front and cheeks. The upper parts of the bird are black while the underparts are white. The tail is square in shape and medium in length. It has long and pointed wings. A distinct 'M' pattern that is dark in color is present on the back. The avian's striking plumage makes it easily noticeable at sea.

Hawaiian petrel birds are Endangered according to the IUCN.

How cute are they?

These birds with their soft feathers are very cute. The chicks have a soft and fluffy appearance.

How do they communicate?

In the nests, the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) makes a range of sounds like yaps, barks, and squeals. The Hawaiian petrel call is unique. On returning to the nests at night, the adult birds make a distinctive moaning sound.

How big is a Hawaiian petrel?

The seabird is about 16.9 in (43 cm) in length. The males are a bit larger in size than the females. The avian is smaller than the common murre and red-footed booby.

How fast can a Hawaiian petrel fly?

Though the exact information is not available for the species yet, it can be said that the flight of this bird is fast. This bird has powerful wings that aid in flight. In the breeding season, these birds are known to cross continents through flight. The flight style of this creature is different from shearwaters.

How much does a Hawaiian petrel weigh?

This seabird weighs about 15.3 oz (433.7 g), which makes them lighter than the northern gannet and the Atlantic puffin.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no such different names for the males and the females of this species.

What would you call a baby Hawaiian petrel?

A baby Hawaiian petrel is called a chick. It is charcoal gray in color.

What do they eat?

The bird is a carnivore by diet. It preys upon crustaceans, squid, and fish. About 50-75% of the diet, consists of squids for this species.

The population of these avians does not dive into the water to feed upon their prey.

Are they poisonous?

Though the exact information is not available for the species yet, these birds do not seem to be too harmful to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds are best left in the wild. However, careful monitoring and preservation are important for the species to thrive.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The chicks of these birds were once considered a delicacy by the early residents of the Hawaiian Islands.

The species has an erratic, diving and arching flight.

This petrel population is found near the shore whereas other petrels are found away from the shore.

The result of a recent study conducted by the Geological Survey in the USA shows that this species can fly over 6,000 mi (9656 km) to fetch food for their young ones.

These creatures observe a period of the pre-laying exodus. For this purpose, they turn to the sea. After about a month, they return, and the process of laying the eggs starts. The chicks spend about four months with their parents.

This avian flies in clock-wise circuits over the North Pacific Ocean. They fly over a huge range. Such trips are undertaken by the avian in order to forage for its food.

Conservation sites have been identified over the entire range of the avian. It is included in international legislation as well. However, it is not a subject for ex-situ conservation. There are no management or trade controls in place.

Why is the Hawaiian petrel endangered?

The Hawaiian petrel has an Endangered status owing to human activities. Though previously the species was seen all across Hawaii except  Niʻihau, today this Endangered creature is mostly seen in the Haleakalā crater on Maui. Small populations are seen in the Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauaʻi, Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii, Lānaʻihale on Lānaʻi. It is possible that they are also found on the island of Molokaʻi. Loss of the natural environment is a big contributor towards this species becoming Endangered.

Predators like small Asian mongooses, feral cats, and rats are another big threat. These feed on the helpless chicks in the burrows. Predators that are non-native are a source of serious threat for this avian. These avians are attracted to man-made lights. Because of this, they often collide with guy wires, power lines, and other structures made by humans. Blinded by these artificial lights, they become disoriented and fall to the ground. In this situation, they become susceptible to attacks by potential predators. Often, they are hit by moving vehicles as well. Authorities in the avian's native place have enforced a number of measures for its protection.

Are they predators?

Yes, these birds are predators and are known to hunt squids extensively. The population of these avians is also called 'tuna birds' as they can hunt the resilient tuna fishes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these red-headed woodpecker facts and bearded vulture facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable duck crossing road sign coloring pages.

Second image by Paul Banko, US National Parks Service

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