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First record of Black-capped Petrel for Morocco

During one of his marine surveys off the Moroccan coast, Andy Williams photographed a Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) flying c. 30 km off Agadir on 23 March 2013. However, he could not get access to the photos from the trip for a long time until last summer (see Andy’s comment below).

The ‘WP reports’ (Ławicki & van den Berg 2017) in the last issue of the Dutch Birding mentioned the bird: “A recently discovered photograph of Black-capped Petrel… off Agadir…concerned the first for Morocco.”

This is indeed the first record for Morocco, and according to Tarsiger.com it’s the first record also for mainland Africa and the 8th for Western Palearctic (WP). With only 10 records to date (see Tarsiger.com), the species remains one of the rarest visitors to the WP.

The species is polymorphic (distinct populations) with black-faced and white or light-faced morphs are well known and studied. An intermediate morph is also known (but less understood), and the Moroccan bird is apparently from this morph.

Pétrel diablotin au large d’Agadir: première mention pour le Maroc

Un Pétrel diablotin photographié environ 30 km au large d’Agadir le 23 mars 2013 par Andy Williams. C’est la première mention pour le Maroc et l’Afrique continentale et la 8ème pour le Paléarctique occidental.


The observation is published in Dutch Birding:

Flood R. L. & Williams A. C. 2018. Black-capped Petrel off Agadir, Morocco, in March 2013. Dutch Birding 40: 92-95.

Black-capped Petrel / Pétrel diablotin (Pterodroma hasitata) c. 30 km off Agadir, Morocco, 23 March 2013 (Andy Williams)
Black-capped Petrel / Pétrel diablotin (Pterodroma hasitata), c. 30 km off Agadir, Morocco, 23 March 2013 (Andy Williams).

3 thoughts on “First record of Black-capped Petrel for Morocco”

  1. Andy Williams

    The photo was not ignored- it was locked in a badly damaged laptop that couldn’t get repaired for a long time. As soon as I could access and assess the photograph properly I contacted Bob Flood for a second opinion of the birds identity.

    1. Thanks Andy for the correction. You are right, “ignored” was not the right word to use, I have amended the text. I didn’t know about the PC, and I just thought that part of the photos from the trip were not processed at the time.

      Best regards,

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