Cahow Season On Track To Break More Records

November 25, 2021

The Cahow recovery program is moving into high gear, with the number of breeding pairs increasing from last year’s record of 143 to 156 this year.

“In the Nonsuch Island A and B colonies alone, from which an incredible 102 chicks have fledged since the first chick to hatch on Nonsuch Island in over 300 years fledged in 2009 as a result of the Cahow Translocation Progam; this year the number of breeding pairs will jump from 27 to 36, the largest increase in the program’s history,” a spokesperson said.

Jeremy Madeiros, Principle Scientist – Terrestrial Conservation from the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, said: “As of the 19th November, all breeding Cahows had returned back to their nest burrows, with over 80 individual adult Cahows checked for band numbers, weight and general body condition.

“Included in this are the 4 Cahows from the two ‘Cahow-Cam’ nests, all of which returned safely. In addition, all 9 of the new nesting pairs that only formed last season have now returned to Nonsuch for this season, and will hopefully produce their first eggs together later into the season.

“As of this date, we are half-way through the courtship and nest building phase of the breeding season. In December, all of the birds will leave their nests to return to the open ocean for 4 to 5 weeks of intensive feeding, the females to develop their single large egg, and the males to fatten up with fat reserves to carry out egg incubation duties. In the beginning of January, the birds will return to lay their eggs and start egg incubation, which lasts 53 – 55 days”.

Cahow Bermuda November 2021

J-P Rouja, Nonsuch Expeditions Team Leader & CahowCam Creator, said, “Surprisingly, as I was filming Jeremy doing a nest check for the most recent video, he found an un-banded adult female. The pair in that particular burrow had previously been productive, but had not produced a chick for the past 2 years, and we now suspect that the original female has not returned for some reason. Jeremy had checked on the male earlier this season but this is the first time for this new female.

“Each season he is able to band virtually all of the chicks in accessible burrows throughout the colonies, but there are a handful located in natural deep crevices on the outer islands that he can’t reach and therefore fledge un-banded, this female being one of them. Watch the above video for a full explanation.”

Watch the CahowCam live here.

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Forget politics for a moment and enjoy this success for Bermuda. A feel good moment in the real world. What a great result for all the hard work of the conservationists. Well done.