Bermuda Petrels Begin 2021 Nesting Season

Male cahow returns from incubation duties.
Watch the male cahow return from an incubation break to huddle over the egg.

At Bird Cams, the start of each new year brings anticipation for the return of the Bermuda Petrels. We’re excited to report that the wait is over for 2021! After spending more than a month at sea, breeding adults are returning to their underground nesting burrows on Nonsuch Island and the other rocky islets beyond Bermuda’s Castle Harbour.

This past weekend, the breeding pair reunited at their nest site on CahowCam 1 to begin the 2021 nesting period. Watch the male greet his mate with high-pitched, throaty squawks and tender preening in the late hours of January 9. Within an hour of her return, the female hunkered down and laid a single egg at 11:19 PM. The adults will now tag team incubation duties for the next 53 to 55 days as they await the arrival of their hatchling in early March. Watch cam

Cahow cam hatch highlights.
Watch highlights of the pair’s reunion and egg-laying on January 9 from our partners at Nonsuch Expeditions.

Bermuda Petrel pairs are faithful partners that typically mate for life, and the CahowCam 1 pair have been nesting together at this site since they first reached breeding maturity in 2009. The male has settled in for the first incubation shift while the female takes some time to forage at sea and recharge after laying the egg. This first bout may last up to three weeks, but these sequestered seabirds will swap shifts more frequently as time goes on.

Thanks to our partners at Nonsuch Expeditions for making it possible to share the lives of the endangered Bermuda Petrel with the world. Stay current on all of the updates from this cam on Twitter @BermudaCahowCam.  

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