For the third year a very lost, lonely, Leach’s Storm Petrel has returned to Nonsuch Island, this time to the still occupied CahowCam2 burrow where he has been interacting with the Cahow chick and its parents to the bewilderment of scientists and viewers around the World.
In past seasons he has returned in June to the empty CahowCam burrow (see Stormy versus Land Crabs) just after the Cahow chick has fledged and spent weeks building a nest and calling out in vain at night for a mate, hence his nickname. However this year, not only is he early, but he does not seem to be deterred by the current occupants that are several times his size.
Leachs’s Storm Petrels normally nest hundreds to thousands of miles away from Norway to the Maritimes and are the size of a starling averaging just under 50 grams versus the much larger Cahows that range from 300 to 450 grams.
His antics over the past few nights have seemed at times aggressive, however the Cahow chick upon examination by Senior Terrestrial Conservation Officer Jeremy Madeiros seems to be doing fine. The one concern is that the presence of this interloper may be deterring the Cahow parents from feeding the chick properly, so its weight and the night time feeding visits will be watched closely.
Should “Stormy” still be around over the next few nights, efforts will be made to catch, band and hopefully introduce him to a different unoccupied burrow.