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WHITE-FACED STORM-PETREL (Pelagodroma marina ssp.)
Biodiversity > Birds > Rare visitors and vagrants

Status unknown. Excavations of deposits of subfossil bones on Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands in the 1970s revealed that a species attributable to the White-faced Storm-Petrel was present before the arrival of Europeans (Fullagar et al. 1974; Meredith 1985, 1991). These bones could refer to P. m. albiclunis, at present only known to breed at the Kermadec Group. Holdaway et al. (2001) suggested that this form, should be separated as a species in its own right.


There are two recent records from near the Lord Howe Island Group, one of which is undoubtedly of the Kermadec form. One was seen at sea between Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid, on 1 March 1995 by Reg Clark (NSWBA data; R. Clark pers. comm.). Clark observed the bird for at least four minutes, and saw the diagnostic white rump of the Kermadec form. The bird was last seen flying towards Balls Pyramid. The second was seen by Captain Neil Cheshire, on 21 January 1997 when 14 nautical miles northeast of Lord Howe Island at 31º16'S, 159º15'E (N.G. Cheshire in litt.; NSWBA data; Bourne 1998), but no detailed notes were taken. The White-faced Storm-Petrel may still breed in the Lord Howe Island Group.

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