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Bird from Brazil drops in on Bermuda

Rare visitor: the Trindade petrel (File photograph)

A rare Brazilian seabird was spotted in Bermuda recently — and may have been trying to nest.

The Bermuda Audubon Society said the Trindade petrel was seen only a few feet from a footpath at Spittal Pond.

A BAS newsletter said: “Robert Branco was visiting Spittal Pond on July 2 when he heard a very loud ‘ki ki ki ki’ call.

“Following the call, he found a dark seabird sitting in what looked like a nest scrape, about five feet from the main path.

“After the bird called multiple times, he was concerned that due to its proximity to the main path, it would be in danger from any passing dogs, feral cats or rats and decided to take the bird to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo for safety.”

The Audubon Society said the petrel’s behaviour and location mirrored its nesting habits — despite the bird being about 4,300 miles away from its usual nesting sites.

The birds spend most of their life at sea and are regularly spotted in the Gulf Stream near the southern East Coast of the US, but nest on the Trindade and Martin Vaz Islands about 600 miles off the Brazilian coast.

The species has only been seen in Bermuda six times and photographed on three occasions.

Staff at BAMZ confirmed the bird was a “very healthy” dark morph Trindade petrel, placed an ID band on its leg and released it into a burrow on Nonsuch Island.

The bird left the borrow earlier in the month.