Learn more about our Gulf Stream signature species and why it is possible this could actually be two or more cryptic species! Black-capped Petrels, or Diablotins, are present in the Gulf Stream off of Cape Hatteras year round. These gadfly petrels nest on Hispanola in the mountains between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is likely there are other nesting sites in the Caribbean, like Dominica, but an actual nesting burrow away from Hispanola has yet to be discovered. They occur in a number or variations and have most recently been treated as two or more species by Howell and Zufelt in their Oceanic Birds of the World photo guide. We still just use the terms white-faced and dark-faced Black-caps to differentiate the two extremes of the spectrum. There are a number of birds showing intermediate traits that we have yet to really pin down to type. Currently there are a number of projects working with Black-capped Petrels offshore of Hatteras and in the Caribbean. Please find links below to blog posts about Black-capped Petrels plus projects that concern them!
Blog posts: http://seabirding.blogspot.com/2019/12/black-capped-petrels-to-north-by-kate.html
Project news: https://abcbirds.org/article/historic-first-for-mysterious-seabird-achieved-with-net-launcher-perseverance-and-chum/
Ways to support Black-capped Petrel conservation and research – you can contribute to the following organizations and let them know where you would like your funds to go!
- EPIC or Environmental Protection in the Caribbean – https://epicislands.org/
- Birds Caribbean – https://www.birdscaribbean.org/