Given that until 2003 only one white-vented storm-petrel nest had ever been found, it is not surprising that very little is known about the biology of this bird. Whereas the first nest discovered in 1979 comprised scraps of vegetation underneath low plants (3), the roughly 11 nests found most recently were located in rocky crevices (2). It is believed, on the basis of examinations of dead birds from the Galápagos, that eggs are laid during the Austral winter from April to August (3).
In common with the feeding behaviour of several other species of storm petrel, the white-vented storm petrel flutters over the sea surface, appearing to “walk-on-water”, in search of plankton and scraps of fish killed by larger predators. This unusual technique is thought to be the origin of the name petrel, derived from the biblical account of St Peter walking on water (3) (5).