Markham's Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma markhami

Fernando Medrano, Jacob Drucker, and Alvaro Jaramillo
Version: 2.0 — Published October 29, 2020


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At sea, occurs singly or in small groups. The behavior on the breeding grounds is mostly undescribed.



The flight of Markham's Storm-Petrel has been described as fairly low, with buoyant wingbeats and glides and with the wings held slightly arched (4). Foraging birds can switch to floppy, loose, and fairly deep wingbeats interspersed with short glides and abrupt swoops up over food (4). Forages "into the wind with steady wingbeats, occasional pauses, and short glides, swooping up to drop on food and patter briefly, the wings raised in a V" (4).


Preening, Head-Scratching, Stretching, Sunbathing, Bathing, Anting

No information.

Sleeping, Roosting

No information.

Daily Time Budget

Individuals spend more time feeding/resting than in transit during the day, which is particularly marked in the Costa Rica current (15). During the night, the behavior is unknown and could be studied through the use of the activity data of geolocators.

Agonistic Behavior

No information available.


During the breeding season, nests in colonies. Densities in colonies are highly variable, ranging between 0.5-300 pairs per hectare. No information on spacing at sea.

Sexual Behavior

As in all the storm-petrels, Markham's Storm-Petrel is presumably socially and genetically monogamous (19). No other information is known about the sexual behavior in this species.

Social and Interspecific Behavior

Degree of Sociality

When at sea, this species is usually solitary or in small groups (4).

Nonpredatory Interspecific Interactions

May associate loosely with other species of storm-petrel (4).


Kinds of Predators

At sea, Markham's Storm-Petrel is likely preyed upon by skuas and jaegers (Stercorarius) and large gulls (Larus).

The primary nest predators are two wild canids, Sechura fox (Lycalopex sechurae) and South American gray fox (Lycalopex griseus; 13, 14). Fledglings also can be preyed by Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus), Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), ants (Pheidole chilensis), dogs (11), and Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia; 20).

Response to Predators

No information.

Recommended Citation

Medrano, F., J. Drucker, and A. Jaramillo (2020). Markham's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma markhami), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, S. M. Billerman, and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.maspet.02