View Full Version : Question about Storm Peteral

08-09-2005, 06:42 AM
I was wondering if anyone had any info on the Wilsons Storm Petral. We saw hundresds of them out by the BE on Sunday.. What do they eat? Do they follow bait fish?
They seemed to be dancing on the water but I could not identify what they were feeding on. They were over bluefish.

08-09-2005, 06:51 AM
I saw em too. all I know is they hang out by the boat when we shark and tuna fish with a chum slick. they suck on the bunker oil. I have never seen them pick at anything but oil.

Go Fish
08-09-2005, 08:00 AM
It's a good bet that they are eating krill that gets churned to the surface by feeding fish. The largest number of Petrals I have ever seen in one place were hanging out with a pod of Humpbacks that were slurping krill.

I don't think they are a very reliable indicator for game fish.

08-09-2005, 09:25 AM
Someone else also told me that these birds eat fish oil. I have only seen these birds offshore. Could be a good sign of bluefish? There is also a smaller bird that looks like the Wilsons Storm Petral but is all black. Anyone know what that bird is?

08-09-2005, 10:22 AM
Storm petrels (from St. Peter) are also called “Mother Carey’s chickens” (a corruption of Mater Cara, the Virgin Mother). Both names derive from their ability to “walk on water.” They eat anything organic that floats at sea--oil from a shark ravaged whale carcass, chum slicks, fish larvae, etc. They’re said to be the most common bird on earth. Personally, I subscribe to the ancient theory that these birds prognosticate foul weather and are the souls of drowned fishermen.

08-09-2005, 10:31 AM
one book on tuna fishing i read over the winter said they will feed on tiny peices of fish ripped up by tuna, and presumably, other species as well.

Brad G.
08-09-2005, 02:06 PM
I have been seeing lots and lots of them offshore from Stellwagon to S.Maine in the last week or so that we have been tuna fishing. Sometimes there were bait/whales/tuna around, and sometimes there was squat around them. Didn't seem to me that they were much of a reliable indicator of tuna. Then again, I could just be clueless :brow

08-09-2005, 07:23 PM
They are often called "tuna chicks" and offshore (the Canyons) they are a pretty reliable sign of larger life. In the fall they can get pretty thick with the bigger shearwaters (see the First Light Anglers Video for some really wild bird/fish action).