Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma monorhis) is a small seabird that belongs to the storm-petrel family. It is a migratory bird species that is widely distributed across the North Pacific region, with a breeding range that includes Japan, Russia, and the Korean Peninsula. In Vietnam, Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel is a rare winter visitor, and its presence has been recorded in offshore waters of several provinces.
This bird species is often found in oceanic waters, and its sightings in Vietnam usually occur during pelagic birdwatching trips. Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel is a highly pelagic species, which means it spends most of its life out at sea and only comes to land for breeding purposes. Due to its elusive nature and habitat preferences, this species is rarely seen by the average person and remains poorly studied
Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel Of Vietnam
Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel is a small seabird with a unique and distinctive appearance. It has a dark plumage with a white rump and a forked tail. The wings are long and pointed, and the bird’s body is slender and streamlined, enabling it to fly long distances over the ocean with ease.
The beak is black and thin, with a tube-like structure on top that allows the bird to excrete excess salt taken in from its marine diet. The feet are small and located far back on the body, which helps the bird to be more hydrodynamic in the water. In general, Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel has a similar appearance to other storm-petrels, but its distinct white rump and forked tail make it easily recognizable
Habitat and Distribution
Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel is a pelagic bird species that spends most of its life out at sea. They breed in coastal areas and offshore islands in the North Pacific, including Japan, Taiwan, and the Korean Peninsula. During the non-breeding season, they disperse over a wide area of the western North Pacific, from Japan to China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
In Vietnam, Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel has been observed in the Gulf of Tonkin, the South China Sea, and along the country’s eastern coast. They usually inhabit deep, warm waters near continental shelves and offshore islands, often near the edge of the continental shelf. Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel are known to be a pelagic and oceanic bird that only come near the shore during the breeding season.
Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrels are generally solitary and are rarely seen near shore. They spend most of their time at sea, feeding on small fish and squid. They are known for their swift and erratic flight patterns, with their wings beating continuously in a “flicker and glide” manner. Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrels are also known to follow ships at sea, possibly in search of food or to take advantage of the wind currents created by the ship.
During the breeding season, Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrels gather in large colonies on remote islands or islets, where they nest in burrows or crevices in rocks. They lay a single white egg, which is incubated by both parents for around 40-50 days. After hatching, the chick is fed by regurgitation from both parents, and takes around 50-60 days to fledge.
Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrels are also known for their vocalizations, which consist of a series of high-pitched whistles, clicks, and trills. These vocalizations are important for communication during mating and nesting, as well as for maintaining contact between pairs during foraging trips at sea.
Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel is listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While the global population is unknown, it is believed to be stable, and the species is not facing any major threats. However, as with all seabirds, there is the potential for accidental capture in fishing gear or disturbance at breeding sites by human activities. In addition, climate change and ocean acidification could potentially impact the prey base of Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel, and the species may be vulnerable to introduced predators on some breeding islands