First cahow chicks of the season hatch
The first cahow chicks of 2023 have successfully hatched on Nonsuch Island.
The latest update on the Nonsuch Expeditions blog announced that on February 23 Jeremy Madeiros, the Department of Environment and Natural Resource’s principal scientist for terrestrial conservation, and JP Rouja, Nonsuch Expeditions Team Leader, discovered that three chicks had hatched at Nonsuch Colony A.
Several other chicks were also found to have begun the hatching process.
Mr Madeiros said: “Last year only two chicks had hatched on Nonsuch by the end of February, and this year when everything seems to be starting sooner, we are on track for six to eight.
“If all goes well, we also seem to be on track for a total of 18 to 20 chicks on Nonsuch this year, easily breaking last year’s record of 15, with similar success being seen in the other cahow nesting islands in the wider colony as well.”
The blog also provided updates on the popular CahowCam project, which live-streams the inside of two cahow burrows on Nonsuch Island.
While it was discovered that the egg in one of the two burrows was infertile, the second egg is expected to hatch sometime around or between March 10 to March 14.
Cahows – also known as Bermuda petrel – were believed to have been wiped out by the 1620s, but the species was rediscovered in 1951.
While the population at that time was limited to only 18 breeding pairs, which produced seven or eight chicks a year, efforts to revive the species have resulted in the population bouncing back.
The 2022 season resulted in a record-breaking 156 breeding pairs and 77 chicks fledged, and Mr Madeiros has said that the 2023 season could surpass that.
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