Environment

Sunny latest cahow chick to leave island

  • Taking care: Jeremy Madeiros with Sunny the cahow (Photograph supplied)
  • Leaving island: Sunny the cahow (Photograph supplied)

The island’s latest cahow chick has spread its wings and left Bermuda after a record-breaking breeding season.

Jeremy Madeiros, senior terrestrial conservation officer, said the population recovery of the species had “accelerated over the last few years due to the intensive management programme”.

The cahow, named Sunny, took flight late Monday night.

He is the sixth chick to fledge on CahowCam — the around-the-clock video stream that monitors cahow nests on Nonsuch Island.

Sunny is expected to forage in the North Atlantic for three to five years before returning to Bermuda to attract a mate.

He is expected to return to Nonsuch Island in nesting season for 20-plus years.

Mr Madeiros said that cahow chicks had left their nesting burrows on “almost a daily basis”.

He added that the 2018 breeding season had set several records — including 124 established breeding pairs, 71 fledged chicks and 15 newly established cahow pairs.

Mr Madeiros said: “In addition, the new Nonsuch nesting colony has grown to 18 nesting pairs with a record number of 13 fledged chicks.

“Nonsuch has also had the first return of translocated chicks from the second translocation colony, four of which paired up to form the two first breeding pairs at this second colony site.”

He added the cahow population had recovered due to an “intensive management programme” which had been able to “control or eradicate” most of the threats facing the species.

Mr Madeiros said it had been a privilege “to be a part of its recovery from the edge of extinction, providing inspiration and an example for other endangered species throughout the world”.