Leach’s storm petrel

These petrels stylishly ride the ocean waves like they own the winds

Schlawe, C

Leach’s storm petrel, known for its affinity for the open ocean, is a remarkable seabird that spends the majority of its life riding the waves and exploring the vast expanses of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Named after the British zoologist William Elford Leach, these agile birds are members of the Hydrobatidae family, aptly named for their ability to “walk on water” as they glide effortlessly over the ocean’s surface.

Breeding colonies of Leach’s storm petrels are typically found on remote and inaccessible islands scattered throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These islands provide the perfect sanctuary for nesting, with rocky outcrops, cliffs, and crevices offering shelter and protection from predators. Storms and strong winds often force these intrepid seabirds to seek refuge in inland waters, where they may be temporarily grounded until the weather improves.

During the breeding season, Leach’s storm petrels engage in intricate courtship rituals and select secluded spots for nesting, such as rocky ledges or burrows dug into the soil. A single egg is laid during each breeding attempt, and both parents share the responsibility of incubating the egg and caring for the chick once it hatches. Their vocalizations, consisting of distinct high-pitched notes, play a crucial role in communication within the colony and during courtship displays.

In their quest for food, Leach’s storm petrels exhibit remarkable agility and precision, employing a variety of hunting techniques to capture their prey. Rather than waiting patiently for fish to surface, these adept seabirds hover or skim low over the water, using their keen eyesight and acute sense of hearing to detect the presence of small fish, crustaceans, and other marine organisms beneath the surface.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Algeria
2018
Vagrant
Angola
2018
Anguilla
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Antarctica
2018
Vagrant
Antigua & Barbuda
2018
Argentina
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Australia
2018
Vagrant
Austria
2018
Vagrant
Bahamas
2018
Barbados
2018
Belgium
2018
Vagrant
Belize
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Benin
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Bermuda
2018
Passage
Bonaire Sint Eustatius And Saba
2018
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba
Brazil
2018
Non-Breeding
British Virgin Is.
2018
Non-Breeding
Cameroon
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Canada
2018
Breeding
Cape Verde
2018
Non-Breeding
Cayman Islands
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
China
2018
Colombia
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Congo-Brazzaville
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Costa Rica
2018
Non-Breeding
Cuba
2018
Curaçao
2018
Côte D’ivoire
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Denmark
2018
Passage
Dominica
2018
Dominican Republic
2018
Ecuador
2018
Passage: Galápagos
Egypt
2018
Vagrant
El Salvador
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Equatorial Guinea
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Estonia
2018
Vagrant
Faroe Islands
2018
Breeding
Finland
2018
Vagrant
France
2018
Passage
French Guiana
2018
French Polynesia
2018
French Southern T.
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Gabon
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Gambia
2018
Vagrant
Germany
2018
Vagrant
Ghana
2018
Vagrant
Gibraltar
2018
Vagrant
Greenland
2018
Non-Breeding
Grenada
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Guadeloupe
2018
Non-Breeding
Guam
2018
Non-Breeding
Guatemala
2018
Guinea-Bissau
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Guinea
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Guyana
2018
Haiti
2018
Honduras
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Iceland
2018
Breeding
Ireland
2018
Israel
2018
Non-Breeding
Italy
2018
Vagrant
Jamaica
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Japan
2018
Kenya
2018
Vagrant
Kiribati
2018
Latvia
2018
Vagrant
Lebanon
2018
Non-Breeding
Liberia
2018
Luxembourg
2018
Vagrant
Maldives
2018
Vagrant
Malta
2018
Vagrant
Marshall Islands
2018
Non-Breeding
Martinique
2018
Mauritania
2018
Mexico
2018
Micronesia
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Montserrat
2018
Morocco
2018
Namibia
2018
Non-Breeding
Nauru
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Netherlands
2018
Non-Breeding
New Zealand
2018
Vagrant
Nicaragua
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Nigeria
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Nort. Mariana Is.
2018
Non-Breeding
Norway
2018
Breeding
Panama
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Peru
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Poland
2018
Vagrant
Portugal
2018
Non-Breeding
Puerto Rico
2018
Russia
2018
Eastern Asian Russia
Saint Helena
2018
Saint Lucia
2018
Saint Martin
2018
French Part
Saint Pierre
2018
Saint Vincent
2018
Senegal
2018
Seychelles
2018
Sierra Leone
2018
Vagrant
Sint Maarten
2018
Dutch Part
South Africa
2018
Non-Breeding
Spain
2018
Passage: Canary Is.
St. Kitts & Nevis
2018
Sudan
2018
Non-Breeding
Suriname
2018
Sweden
2018
Vagrant
Switzerland
2018
Vagrant
São Tomé & Príncipe
2018
Origin Uncertain
Togo
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
Trinidad & Tobago
2018
Turks & Caicos
2018
Tuvalu
2018
Seasonality Uncertain
UAE
2018
Origin Uncertain
US Minor Is.
2018
Non-Breeding
US Virgin Islands
2018
Non-Breeding
United Kingdom
2018
United States
2018
Breeding
Uruguay
2018
Non-Breeding
Venezuela
2018

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No