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Thread: Oceanodroma sp

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Oceanodroma sp

    Can anyone please shed any light on the ID of this petrel? I would appreciate it very much, as itís been bugging me for weeks. We were sailing from Gibraltar to Gran Canaria at the end of November last year and this bird landed on deck one night when we were about two hundred miles south of Gibraltar off the Moroccan coast. I think it may be a Madeiran, but not entirely sure because of the forked tail (Madeiran apparently only have a slightly notched tail).However, apart from the tail, this bird did exhibit many characteristics of O.castro, i.e. it had a fairly small white rump patch without a central divide; it had a less conspicuous (dull) band across the coverts; there was little contrast in colour between the dark outer wing tips and the mantle, scapulars and head, all being blackish not dark grey as in Leachís. Didnít know this before, but MSP apparently breed during the winter months across the Canaries, so it seems quite probable to see them in November. Are Leachís around these waters at this time of year, or do they winter further south in the Atlantic? Any comments would be gratefully received.

    Cheers, Mike Werndly.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Sherpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Your bird is a Leach's. There must be lots of them in that region in November. Madeiran Petrel is very different (most importantly, wrap-around rump patch on Madeiran not shown by this bird and image 2 shows hint of central divide to rump).

  3. #3
    Moderator Brian S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Suffolk, UK


    I would think that Sherpa is correct. The structure and plumage looks good for Leach's and the time of year is pretty good. In Suffolk, October or November is a great time to see them - some Norwegian breeding colonies are said to breed very late.

    Brian S

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    In hand ID of Oceanodroma sp. its very hard, though I think that based mainly on white of rump not banding down the undertail coverts enough for "Madeiran" should be ok for Leach's ... but I can't see much more ...

    When you next take a storm-petrel in the hand, always good to have sharp shot of perfectly side view of the bill, the shape of nosetube (I do not remebre at now the English word) and the bill is very usefull

    check for example :
    Last edited by macrourus; September 2nd, 2011 at 12:46 PM.

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