Seabird Diversity

Between May and September, we usually see 9 to 15 species of pelagic seabirds per trip.  Because there is a lot of turnover in the fast flowing waters of the Gulf Stream, two consecutive trips may find remarkably different numbers and diversity.

Possibilities include four gadfly petrels (see list below), Cory's, Greater, Sooty, Manx, and Audubon's Shearwaters, Wilson's, Band-rumped, Leach's, and White-faced Storm-Petrels, two tropicbirds (see list below), Masked Booby, Red-necked Phalarope, South Polar Skua, Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed Jaegers, and Arctic, Bridled, and Sooty Terns.

There have been a wide variety of species of birds recorded on our pelagic trips.  We have also kept a record of other offshore life such as fish, mammals, and sea turtles.  Click Here to go to our Lists page where you can find an archive of past pelagic trips.  Click Here to go to our Image Gallery where you can view nearly all of the species that have been recorded on our pelagic trips.  We currently have 182 images on this website of pelagic birds, mammals, and fish which include 39 different species of birds.

From Top to Bottom: (Black-capped Petrel, Herald Petrel, Fea's Petrel, Bermuda Petrel)Gadfly Petrels
Some birders with a keen interest in seabirds have dubbed the deep waters off Cape Hatteras "Pterodroma Alley" because this is the best place to see the fast-flying, high-arcing gadfly petrels in the western North Atlantic.  At least four species have been recorded here annually for the last several years.

Black-capped Petrel - Pterodroma hasitata - seen on nearly every Gulf Stream trip, often in large numbers.

Herald (Trinidade) Petrel - Pterodroma arminjoniana - rare but regular from May to September.

Fea's Petrel - Pterodroma feae - rare but regular, mostly between May and July.

Bermuda Petrel - Pterodroma cahow - very rare but annual in recent years, slowly recovering from near extinction with about 65 pairs breeding in Bermuda in 2002.





The waters off Cape Hatteras are the best place along the East Coast to see two species of these beautiful, highly aerial seabirds.

White-tailed Tropicbird
- rare but regular visitor May to September, several seen each year, nests in Bermuda.

Red-billed Tropicbird - very rare but annual visitor May to September, closest nesting ground is Puerto Rico!

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Find Out More About Pelagic Trips

We have several excellent information pages here at the website that everyone who is scheduled to go offshore with us should read.  The following is a list that you can click on to get to the desired discussion: