Tuesday, 13 August 2013

105. Leach's Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)

Leach's Storm Petrel is fairly large as petrels go, and although it can appear similar to the European Storm Petrel, there are a few differences (aside from the size). Leach's has a long pale panel on its upperwings which contrasts strongly with their black tips, whereas the European Storm Petrel's wings are fairly uniformly blackish brown, and Leach's white rump is more v-shaped and does not extend as far underneath the tail as the European Storm Petrel's. Leach's also has a more powerful flight due to its larger size. It is widespread, breeding in the Northern Hemisphere and heading towards and beyond the Equator outside of the breeding season, reaching as far south in the Atlantic as South Africa. In Europe, it breeds on rocky coasts and islands around the north UK, Iceland and Norway.

Leach's Storm Petrel, ©C. Schlawe/USFWS, via Wikimedia Commons.
Leach's Storm Petrel sketch.

Admittedly this photo doesn't show the ID features of Leach's Storm Petrel at all well, but there weren't many with a Creative Commons license, and as you may have guessed by now I am a bit of a sucker for a cute bird photo every now and then!

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