March 1st UPDATE
While monitoring the live stream Thursday afternoon, every time the female shifts the chick can be heard peeping from inside the egg.
There have also been a few glimpses of the egg during which a pip or small hole seems to have started.
All of this adds up to the full hatching being not far away, however the actual timing is impossible to predict at this stage… Watch Livestream Here
Feb 28th | Jeremy Madeiros
The 2018 Cahow breeding season continues to provide surprises, with all indications pointing towards another record-breaking year. A new record number of 124 breeding pairs (those laying an egg, whether it hatches or not) has been confirmed, compared to 117 pairs in 2017.
Normally, almost all eggs hatch in early to mid-March, with only a few early chicks hatching in late February, but as of 28th Feb this year, 16 chicks have already hatched, 5 of which are on Nonsuch island.
During a check of the "CahowCam" nest, R831 on Nonsuch today, it was confirmed that the female adult (band no. E0212) was incubating the egg after taking over incubation duties from the male bird on the 19th February. It was also confirmed that the egg was in the early stages of hatching, with the chick actively moving in the egg and having produced a number of "dimple cracks" half-way around the large end of the egg.
Once these cracks extend around the entire large end, the chick can then start working on kicking this out and hatching. This process can vary greatly in time, and hatching could be anything from several hours to a couple of days away.
I will be monitoring carefully and will probably give the egg a quick check tomorrow as gale-force winds forecast for Friday and Saturday will likely prevent me from going out to Nonsuch.
Two years ago, I had to assist the chick in this burrow as it had not been able to enlarge the original hole in the eggshell after two days of trying, and it was weakening. A sterilized scissors was used to carefully enlarge the original pip hole to both sides, and the chick was able to hatch a couple of hours later, fledging out to sea normally three months later.
Jeremy Madeiros, Senior Conservation Officer (Terrestrial), Dept. of Environment ad Natural Resources, BERMUDA