The 2019 CahowCam Nesting Season has officially started with the return of the female and the laying of her single egg in the early hours of January the 10th, exactly on schedule.
The incubation period is generally +/- 53 days, the first few weeks of which the male will take on whilst the female goes back out to sea to feed and regain her energy having just produced an egg almost a 1/3 of her body weight! Once she returns they will alternate shorter shifts on the egg until, if all goes well, it hatches in early March.
Jeremy Madeiros | Senior Terrestrial Conservation Officer (Bermuda Government)
I was happy to see the return of our CahowCam female last night just before midnight.
She flew in during the 35 to 40 knot gale just ahead of the cold front that came through, effectively using the winds as a fast lane to bring her back from her feeding grounds to the North.
Over the next 2 hours whilst I watched her preparing the nest and laying her egg, I could hear other Cahows calling in the background so it is clear that others came in with the same front.
As of 2 days ago 6 of the 18 nests in Translocation Colony A had returned birds and after a quick check this AM just ahead of the next cold front I can confirm that there are now birds in 9 of the 18 nests, 6 being females on eggs and 3 being males awaiting their mates return.
Over the next few weeks we will be incorporating “candling” into the nest check process that will allow us to track development of the chick embryos during the incubation period which usually lasts around 53 days.
J-P Rouja | Nonsuch Expeditions Team Leader and Conservation Tech Developer
“We had been watching for her return for the past few days and had alerted our Nonsuch Expeditions and Cornell followers to expect her over the next few nights, so it was amazing to see her show up exactly on schedule. As luck would have it her first activity was to rearrange the nest and in doing so she kicked some dried grass in front of the lens. Nonetheless out team and other late night viewers were able to watch her lay her single egg just after 1am, as Jeremy had predicted, within an hour of her return.”
Charles Eldermire | Bird Cams Project Leader Cornell Lab of Ornithology
“There's nothing quite like the happy, relieved surprise I felt watching the female Cahow amble into the nest burrow from the stormy darkness outside. I was also glad that despite her frenzied nest excavations, we were able to see her calm, determined focus as she laid a single egg. Everyone here is excited to see what the cahows teach us this season, and we're looking forward to sharing their journey with viewers across the world.”
Watch the ongoing nesting activity on our newly upgraded HD CahowCam LIVE stream or sign up for our Newsletter selecting the CahowCam alert option to be notified by email of significant nesting season milestones.