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Leach's Storm Petrel - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Steve Seal
location: Draycote Water, UK

Alternative name: Leach's Petrel Includes: Chapman's Storm Petrel

Hydrobates leucorhous

Oceanodroma leucorhoa


A small seabird of the tubenose family. It is named after the British zoologist William Elford Leach.

8-21 cm. Dark plumage and white rump with a black line through it. Forked tail


Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.


This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 2 subspecies.


  • H. l. leucorhous

Breeds in the north Pacific, from northeastern Japan through the Kuril and Aleutian Islands to southeastern Alaska, south to central California (Farallon Islands); and in the north Atlantic from the northeastern USA (Massachusetts, Maine) and eastern Canada east to Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, northern Scotland, and northwestern Norway;

  • H. l. chapmani

Found in Coronados Islands and San Benito Islands (northwest Mexico)

Formerly considered conspecific with Townsend's Storm Petrel and Ainley's Storm Petrel.


Close to the sea in well concealed areas such as rock crevices, shallow burrows.

Can turn up on lakes and reservoirs, many miles inland, as a result of storms



1 white egg is laid. Visits the nest only at night


Small fish and crustaceans



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2016. IOC World Bird Names (version 6.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.

Recommended Citation

External Links

Birdforum thread: How to see a Leach's Storm Petrel in the UK: [[1]]