Leach's Storm-Petrel: Medium storm-petrel with dark brown body and white rump and undertail feathers. Wings are dark with pale gray-brown bar on upperwings. Long tail is dark and forked. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Its flight is bounding and erratic, with frequent changes of direction and speed.
Range and Habitat
Leach's Storm-Petrel: Breeds on coasts and offshore islands from Aleutians south to Baja California; also in western Pacific and north Atlantic from Labrador south to Maine and Massachusetts. Spends winters mainly in tropical seas. Pelagic; only comes ashore to breed.
The Leach’s Storm-Petrel was first described in 1818 by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. It is named for the British zoologist William Elford Leach.
A 2003 study found that their telomeres, which is the region of repetitive DNA at the end of chromosomes, lengthen with age, the only known example until 2006, when this trait was shown in Great Frigatebirds also.
They are strictly nocturnal at breeding sites to avoid predation by gulls and skuas, and will even avoid coming to land on clear moonlit nights.
They have an average lifespan of 20 years, the maximum recorded age is 36 years.