Crouched in a corner on the aft of the ship TX41 he was found this Friday: a small soaked Leach’s storm petrel. Not an everyday find for the crew of the Texel fishing ship. To allow the animal to rest and get dry, the men put the Leach’s storm petrel in a box on the warm deck. Upon entering the port of Texel, Ecomare was called. …
During high winds or storms the small storm petrels get in trouble and then sometimes dozens are seen off our coast. Right now, birders spot several Leach’s storm petrels near Texel.
Rest and warmth
In the animal shelter of Ecomare, animal keeper Silke cared for the storm petrel. Besides being soaking wet, the animal’s weight was OK and it just needed a rest. With a lamp for heat, a dark booth to stay and a few small fishes the bird got better soon. It was released the next day.
How, for example, do you study an imperiled seabird population when for most of the year the adult birds’ stealthy habits keep them out at sea hunting for food – and away from spying scientists – around the clock, except for a brief period in the middle of the night when it’s too dark to tell a petrel from a pile of rocks? That was the situation facing researchers who wanted to know if there were any ashy storm petrels on Anacapa Island, about 25 kilometers off the California coast, ten years after invasive rats were eradicated from the island: here.