Video: Bermuda Petrel Welcomes Latest Chick

March 11, 2023

The Bermuda Petrel welcomed his latest chick to the world, with the event seen live on a stream from Nonsuch Island.

J-P Rouja, Nonsuch Expeditions Founder said, “In the early hours of March 10th 2023, in the midst of a cold snap with sporadic hail throughout the night, the male Bermuda Petrel in Burrow #832, in Translocation Colony A, on Nonsuch Island in Bermuda, [from which the CahowCam2 camera is live streaming], welcomed his latest chick to the world!

“As J-P, Jeremy and followers from around the world watched in real-time @1:46 am the partially hatched chick was finally revealed, less than 2 days since the first “pip” was seen @8:58 on March 8th. Then @3:08am the fully hatched chick was seen, now covered in leaves, and finally, @5:38am we were able to see the now almost completely dry, downy chick!

“After resting from the hatching process, the young chick begins interacting with the adult, peeping and poking around the adult’s face, signaling hunger and setting up for its first feeding from its father. @8:48 it had its first meal. Continue watching the LIVEstream here.”

Jeremy Madeiros said, “A continuing long period of strong, sometimes gale-force winds with only brief periods of calm have really prevented all but a very few survey trips out to Nonsuch and the other Cahow nesting islands all through February, and now into March, a period when the single Cahow chicks begin to hatch after their 50 – 53 day incubation period. This is unfortunate for me as a conservation manager trying to determine the hatching dates, weight increase and health of the single chicks of these critically endangered seabirds. I was also keen to see if we would break last year’s record of 15 fledged Cahow chicks produced by the Nonsuch nesting colonies.

“During this nesting season [beginning in late October 2022 and extending to June 2023] a total of 33 active Cahow nests had been confirmed at the two nesting colonies on Nonsuch. Although candling showed that some of the eggs had failed or were infertile, by late January there were a total of 24 fertile eggs being incubated by the adult birds ,

“During a check on the 23rd February, I found that 3 Cahow chicks had already hatched, while in 5 additional nest burrows, eggs were in various stages of hatching, a process that can take 2 to 5 days for the Cahow.

“On my last check on Thursday 2nd March, I was able to confirm that the number of hatched Cahow chicks on Nonsuch Island had risen to 8, while an additional 6 nests had eggs in various stages of hatching. One chick had died shortly after hatching, of unknown causes, while another 5 nests had fertile eggs still being incubated. Although strong winds have kept me ashore since then, we were able to observe the hatching of the R831 [CahowCam 1] chick over the night of 9th/10th March. In addition, I would expect that the 6 eggs seen hatching on the 2nd March will have all produced hatched chicks by now, bringing the total number of Cahow chicks on Nonsuch to at least 15. And we still have 5 late eggs that have a good chance to produce chicks, meaning that the total number of Cahow chicks on Nonsuch for 2023 may end up being 18 to 20.

“Although strong winds are not so good news for getting out to Nonsuch, it is great for Cahows, being the consummate creatures of the wind that they are. My check a week ago confirmed that all of the chicks were being fed and were at higher than, average weights for their ages, indicating that the birds were using the strong winds to make fast feeding visits to gather food for their chicks. As a result, I can’t wait to get back out to the islands. We will report our findings at that time.”

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