Birds – Leach’s Petrel

Also closely allied are the numerous species of Oceanodroma, which differ mainly by their larger size, distinctly forked tails, and the tarsus shorter rather than longer than the middle toe and claw. Their range is chiefly in the seas of the Northern Hemisphere, coming southward more or less regularly to the coast of Peru and the island of St. Helena. Of the dozen or more forms, Leach’s Petrel (O. Leucorhoa) is one of the best known. It is uniform sooty, rather darker above, and belongs to that section of the genus characterized by a white rump patch; its length is eight inches. It is equally at home in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, its habits being very similar to those of the Stormy Petrel; in fact, it is the common “Mother Carey’s Chicken” of the New England coast. It breeds abundantly on the Atlantic coast of North America from Casco Bay, Maine, to Greenland, at various points on the European coast, as well as the coast of Alaska in the Pacific. The nest is in a burrow, often several feet deep, made usually in peaty soil.