Log In

Reset Password
BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

Longtail chicks might not be abandoned, but beware just in case

The Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) is calling for the public to look out for stranded Longtail chicks as the birds prepare for their first flights.

A spokeswoman said that during August and September Longtail chicks are sometimes found seemingly abandoned, either on land or floating in water, but often the “abandonment” is a normal part of their development.

“Nevertheless, the BAMZ would still encourage the public to bring in a bird they believe is abandoned so that technical staff can assess the animal,” the spokeswoman added.

Over the summer months, Longtail chicks go through a eight-to-ten-week fledging process, losing their down feathers and growing flight feathers.

During this process, Longtail parents feed the chicks until they are ‘supersized'. While an adult Longtail typically weighs between 350g and 400g, the fledglings can weigh as much as 600g.

“When the chicks are ready to leave the nest they stop eating, which is a signal to the parents to stop feeding,” she said.

“Hatching and fledging in a hole in a cliff restricts the young bird's ability to exercise its wings and take practice flights as woodland birds or those that nest in the open might do. Therefore, a Longtail chick's first flight presents an almost ‘do or die' scenario for the chick.

“It is at this point the public sometimes bring in chicks because they think they have been abandoned. However, the chick is actually slowly losing weight and building up courage to fly. This process can take over a week, hence the seeming abandonment.

“During the summer boating season more people get out on the water and come across Longtails they believe are in trouble. So far this year [BAMZ] have received six Longtails — three adults and three chicks.”

Anyone who finds a Longtail (adult or chick) injured or compromised in some way is asked to contact BAMZ at 293-2727.

A bird in the hand: Principal curator for the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, Dr Ian Walker examines a Longtail that was found stranded on Horseshoe Beach last week. Dr. Walker (center) is pictured with curator of BAMZ Patrick Talbot and Kamille Minors, a summer student who has worked with BAMZ for many years and is studying to become a veterinary technician.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 09, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 08, 2013 at 10:36 pm)

Longtail chicks might not be abandoned, but beware just in case

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon