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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Oceanodroma castro
POPULATION: Global population: 150,000 individuals; Hawaiian population: approximately 240 pairs
HABITAT: Nests on isolated islands; spends rest of time at sea.
The dainty Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, known as the ‘Ake‘ake in Hawai’i, is named for the white band across the top of its broad, squared-tipped tail. Its genus name, Oceanodroma, derives from the ancient Greek words for “ocean” and “runner,” probably derived from the bird’s habit of paddling with its feet while it flies low over the water.
A full-grown Band-rumped Storm-Petrel weighs only about one-and-a-half ounces — about the same as a golf ball. It’s similar in size to an American Robin.