Leach's Storm-Petrel

Baccalieu Island Ecological Reserve has the largest colony of Leach's Storm-Petrels in the world.

This bird is named after William Elford Leach, a British zoologist. Its lifespan is surprisingly long, with an average of 20 years and a maximum of up to 36 years!

Slender and very long winged, which are pointed, angled and swept back. It has a forked tail and dark feet. Its wingbeats are deep and springy and flight is erratic, reminiscent of a nighthawk.

The white rump is an obvious identifier of this bird. There is a dark rumped variety of the Leach's Storm-Petrel, which are more often found off the coast of California. The white rumped variety only is seen in the Atlantic.

It is generally silent at sea, while at its nest site it makes a musical purring 3 to 4 seconds long, rising slightly in pitch. In flight over the colony, it emits a chuckling chatter.

The Leach's Storm-Petrel is hard to see, as it is usually out to sea during the daylight hours, returning to its burrow at night under the cover of darkness. That is when Baccalieu Island comes alive with the sounds of singing Petrels!


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