Leach’s Storm Petrel

By 03/12/2020Birds

Leach’s Storm Petrel are named after the British zoologist William Alford Leach. The scientific name Oceanodroma is from ancient greek okeanos «  ocean », and dromos « runner » by the fact that they are often seen touching the surface with their legs while feeding. The species name leucorhoa is from leukos « white » and orrhos « rump ». They are usually seen in the Azores from October to December before making a southward migration to the South Atlantic.


  • Latin name: Oceanodroma leucorhoa
  • Order: Procellariiformes
  • Family: Hydrobatidae
  • Length: 19-22 cm
  • Weight: 40-50 gr
  • Wingspan: 45-48 cm
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable


Source: Map Lynx Edicions/BirdLife International


Important: Birds species have different identifying features depending on sex, age and season.

Eye color: Dark brown, black
Beak: Thin and hooked , black beak
Leg color: Black
Feather colors: Black, brown, grey, white




Leach’s Storm Petrels feed on the wings, pattering, dipping or surface seizing their preys. They feed mostly on small fish, planktonic crustaceans and squids.


Leach’s Storm Petrels are considered highly pelagic and only approach land for breeding. Breeding takes place in higher latitude than those of the archipelago of the Azores. The incubation of a single egg (milky-white) lasts at around 37-50 days. The juveniles will reach the fledgling stage, first flight, at around 50-60 days.



By night, Leach’s Storm Petrels emit a baton sound interrupted by a wuee-cha and ending with a chu-chattericha sh-chitteri.



Illustration by Juan M. Varela.


About Marylou

Marylou is a Marine Biologist and Master in Oceanography. She is one of our Marine Wildlife Guide and is responsible for Science Education at TERRA AZUL. Originally from France, she studied in Canada and Belgium and loves being out to sea to share her knowledge with you.

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