Second cahow hatches on Nonsuch Island

  • Ancient scene: a cahow with its newly hatched chick (Photograph provided by Nonsuch Expeditions)

    Ancient scene: a cahow with its newly hatched chick (Photograph provided by Nonsuch Expeditions)


Hidden cameras on a nature reserve have recorded the hatching of another cahow chick, the second this season.

JP Rouja, the Nonsuch Expeditions team leader, said the bird broke free from its egg on Nonsuch Island on Sunday with researchers, students and scientists watching around the world through the CahowCam project.

The hatching came eight days after the live-stream of another cahow chick in a burrow elsewhere on the island.

Mr Rouja said: “The past two seasons, the Nonsuch Expeditions team has been collaborating on a new Bermuda petrel biomonitoring project with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and researchers who have been geo-tagging some of the birds in the colony.

“One of things we are observing this year is that the birds seem to be foraging closer to Bermuda than last year, allowing for shorter excursions, more frequent feeding visits and higher overall body weights throughout the colonies.”

Mr Rouja said that the parents of the first CahowCam chick have visited and fed the chick almost every night, while in past years parents have had to fly thousands of miles over ten days to find food to feed their chick once.

He added: “Should these favourable conditions continue over the next three months, it should help us match or even break last year’s record of 73 successfully fledged chicks.”

The cahow, a seabird also known as the Bermuda petrel, was believed to have been wiped out by early colonists by the 1620s.

However, the species was rediscovered in 1951 when they were found in nests on rocky islets in Castle Harbour, which sparked a major conservation effort.

The number of breeding pairs has risen since then from just 17 or 18 to 131 last year.

The CahowCam project, organised with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, based in Ithaca, New York State, and LookBermuda, has offered a glimpse into cahow burrows for the last eight years.

For more information, or to watch the CahowCam, visit www.nonsuchisland.com

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Published Mar 13, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 13, 2020 at 7:59 am)

Second cahow hatches on Nonsuch Island

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