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Almost 100 seabirds found dead on South Shore beaches

A file picture of a Greater Shearwater.

Scores of dead seabirds have been found washed up on South Shore beaches in the wake of Tropical Storm Alex.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources the cause of death of the greater shearwaters is probably due to the annual die-off that the species endures during migration.

A DENR spokesman said that rough seas caused by TS Alex likely washed them to shore between Sunday and Tuesday.

Staff from the DENR collected almost 100 birds from the beaches, most of within a few hours.

The spokesman said that the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo had received several reports of dead Greater Shearwaters being found along the shore, with more bodies being discovered floating in the water.

He added that there were no visible signs of trauma or infection but necropsy results were still pending. Several bodies were thin and emaciated but some were in good health.

Greater Shearwaters are trans-equatorial migratory birds that breed in the Southern Hemisphere and travel to the North Atlantic between May and August, often stopping at Bermuda to rest and feed.

The species often experiences “massive mortality events” during their migrations that peak in June.

Reasons for this die-off are unknown, but it has suggested to be a result of global warming.

The public is advised not to touch any bodies that may be found, but instead to leave a message on the BAMZ Wildlife Rehabilitation Hotline at 293-2727, extension 999, that gives the location and date that the body was found, as well as a phone number.

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Published June 08, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated June 08, 2022 at 7:58 am)

Almost 100 seabirds found dead on South Shore beaches

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