2018 CahowCam Live Broadcast | Season 6

After a very successful 2017 nesting season where a record breaking 62 chicks successfully fledged out to sea and during which 600,000+ CahowCam viewers watched 8.5 million minutes of footage, we are preparing for another groundbreaking year building upon our collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, showcasing the second rarest seabirds on the planet.

As of November 2017, the Cahows are returning to Nonsuch and a few surrounding islets for their November courtship, copulating and nest building activities. These will last through the end of the month when they return back to sea and if successful will result in the female returning in January to lay their single egg, thus commencing the 2018 nesting season.

Live Stream

The 24/7 LIVE Stream view of the underground nesting chamber below is in complete darkness and is being lit by our custom built 940nm infrared lights which is completely invisible to the birds. The video player holds the last 4 hours of LIVE footage and you may use the time bar at the bottom to scroll back and forth through recent footage, then click the "LIVE" button to return to realtime. If the chamber is currently empty the birds may be in the tunnel and will be back shortly otherwise if during the day they may be back out at sea feeding or if during the night they may be participating in their nocturnal aerial courtship acrobatics. 

UPDATES (be sure to follow the Twitter updates to the right of the above video)

Nov 13th | 8pm Update: Our star pair are back and resuming their courtship and mating activities.

Nov 10th Update: One of the pair made multiple visits last night re-arranging the nest and waiting for its mate. In the end it left back out to sea before sunrise. Keep checking back after dark as both should return tonight or tomorrow night.

Nov 8th Update: After 6 months apart and a week of courtship activities in the burrow, last night the pair went back out to sea to feed. They are expected to return in the next few evenings so please check back after dark. For activity alerts, please sign up to our Newsletter or subscribe to our Twitter Feed.

2017 CahowCam Archive

In 2016 THE NONSUCH EXPEDITIONS PARTNERED WITH THE CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY TO showcase the Bermuda Petrel, the second rarest seabird on the planet, resulting in 8.5 million minutes of CahowCam footage being viewed this past season.


Season Highlights -

VIDEO COMPILATION | 2017 Nesting Season

2017 CahowCam (now offline for post season upgrades), broadcast from burrow #831 on Nonsuch Island in Bermuda, where the chick hatched at 9.45 pm on March 2nd, 2017 and fledged on June 5th at 11pm. The camera was left running as for the 2nd year in a row a very lost, stubborn storm petrel was visiting nightly, cleaning the nest and calling out for a mate. UPDATE: As of July 17th "Stormy" was still returning nightly, usually around 2 AM Bermuda (Atlantic) time, please see blog for updates.

We have now ended the 5th Season of the Nonsuch Expeditions CahowCam broadcasting live from burrow #831, in Translocation Colony A, on Nonsuch Island, in the Castle Islands Nature Reserve, in Bermuda in collaboration with the Bermuda Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  This year to extend our public and educational outreach, we partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to showcase Bermuda's Endemic, Critically Endangered Bermuda Petrel or "Cahow" to the world.

A Lazarus Species (see FAQ) the Cahow was thought extinct for over 300 years until it was rediscovered in the 1950's when an intensive Cahow recovery and Nonsuch re-forestation program was initiated by David Wingate. Upon his retirement in 2000 this was taken over by Senior Terrestrial Conservation Officer Jeremey Madeiros who in 2002 implemented a Translocation Program under the auspices of the Bermuda Department of Environment and Natural Resources accelerating the ongoing recovery of the Species, which this past season exceeded 130 breeding pairs throughout the colony.

The underground nesting chamber, is being lit by a custom built 940nm military grade infrared lighting array. It is completely invisible to the birds which despite the appearance in the video, are, and must remain in complete darkness. This award winning design by LookBermuda for the Nonsuch Expeditions project, is proving to be even more effective with this seasons' camera upgrades, now including the new camera angle that was installed underground and drilled through the limestone side of the nesting chamber.

UPDATE June 1st - Chick Named "Shadow"

VIDEO HEALTH CHECK | June 1st   Jeremy conducts a health check and chick is named "Shadow" by junior explorer Sophie

UPDATE APRIL 15TH - 6 Week Health Check

VIDEO HEALTH CHECK | April 15th   Jeremy conducts a health check on our 6 week old chick.

Jeremy Madeiros explains chick weight fluctuations

MEET THE SCIENTIST | March 27th   For those followers that have been concerned about the gaps between feeding visits and the subsequent fluctuations in the chick's weight as seen in the chart below, please read this blog post.

Update May 14th - Chick Now heaviest in Nonsuch Colony

Update March 16th - Chick triples Weight After 2 feeding visits

HIGHLIGHT | March 15th   Jeremy Madeiros conducted a nest check today and the chick having been fed by the parents on the two prior nights has jumped to 153 grams

UPDATES | Ongoing  Jeremy Madeiros is conducting regular health checks which can be seen  on this chart and which now include the wing chord length to track growth

Update March 13th - Chick Losing Weight

HIGHLIGHT | March 13th 16:00  Jeremy Madeiros conducted a nest check today and the chick which has not been fed in 5 days has dropped from 83g down to 52g. The parents are likely waiting for the full moon to pass (tonight) before returning but may do so sooner with the expected winds and cloud cover from the incoming storm front. Whilst this situation is not ideal for the chick, it is not yet deemed to be  overly concerning as these cycles are not uncommon.

UPDATE March 14th - 04:30 am Female? parent returns and starts feeding chick.

Update March 8th - Meet the Scientist NEst Check

HIGHLIGHT | March 8th 16:00 " CahowCam Nest Check. Jeremy Madeiros conducted a nest check today the first in a series that will be LIVE streamed via Cornell. The chick has been fed the last 2 nights and is healthy and putting on weight, despite the scare it had on March 6th. Watch video and read report here."

Update March 6th - Intruder Alert @ 1.40 AM

HIGHLIGHT | March 6th 01:40 " Intruder Alert! At approximately 1:40 am Bermuda time, a prospecting adult Cahow entered the burrow and proceeded to aggressively harass the chick, read more and watch video here."

Update March 2nd - Hello World!!! @ 9.45 pm

HIGHLIGHT | March 2nd 21:45 - Jeremy Madeiros " Hello World! At approximately 9.45 pm Bermuda time, two hours after the male took over incubation duties, and approximately 40 minutes after the top of the shell broke off, our star chick is completely free from the egg and has officially hatched! Less than an hour later the parent spent a few minutes outside revealing the chick."

Update March 2nd - hatching Continues Parents trade places

HIGHLIGHT | March 2nd 19:05- J-P Rouja" The parents quickly switched places doing the incubation, showing the hatching pipped egg in the process. Unfortunately they then kicked a bay-grape leaf in front of the lens, hopefully they will move it while cleaning the nest later in the night otherwise Jeremy and I will try to get back to the island in the AM before the bad weather rolls in."

Update March 2nd - hatching process has started

HIGHLIGHT | March 2nd 00:45 am  - " The chick can be heard peeping from inside the egg and a "pip' (small hole) appears to have started. This egg was projected to hatch within a few days of March 5th so we are right on track. As of March 1st there were already 4 other confirmed hatchings in the Nonsuch Colony."

January 24th - Female Returns Earlier than expected

HIGHLIGHT | January 24h  - Jeremey Madeiros: "The female Cahow (band no. E0212) returned last night to the R831 nest as gale-force winds and squally rain from a strong winter storm lashed the island. The male bird has only been incubating the egg for 9-10 days, so it is a bit early for the female to return, as the male's first shift usually lasts for 14-21 days. As a result, he still has adequate fat reserves to stay longer, and so has been reluctant to give up the egg, staying over for the day in the nest with the female. This is quite common to see with Cahows, especially in the early stages of incubation (the egg is not due to hatch until about the 5th - 7th March). He has even managed to nudge the female off the egg so he can spend some more time incubating it!

All of the activity in the nest chamber has resulted in the camera lens getting a bit dirty; as the winds are too fierce to go out to Nonsuch at present, with strong winds forecast to continue until Friday, we will have to wait for the winds to drop to go out and clean the lens. We will also be carrying out a weight and band check of the incubating bird at that time."


January 18th - Male Returns

HIGHLIGHT | January 18th | 9.45pm - Jeremey Madeiros: "Male returns and is aggressively preened by the female. This is an interesting behavior that I have seen before; the female responded aggressively at first to the arriving male. This is not unusual as the incubating bird becomes quite protective and unwilling to give up the egg to their partner, even if they are desperately hungry! The male is normally quite synchronized with the female and arrives within a night or two of her to take over incubation, as she needs to return to sea to feed after producing an egg one-fifth or more of her weight! The fact that she has been back for 5 nights before he returned may have something to do with it (I can imagine a grumpy "you're late!" in between the pecks). However, after several bouts of mutual preening, he seems to have won her back over. It will be interesting to see if she stays on for one more night or leaves so he can begin his incubation stint. 


CahowCam Screen Capture: The Female Cahow returned @ 9.45 pm on January 11th 2017 and within an hour had laid her single egg!

CahowCam Screen Capture: The Female Cahow returned @ 9.45 pm on January 11th 2017 and within an hour had laid her single egg!


HIGHLIGHT | January 11th- Jeremey Madeiros: "Female E0197 entered the nest at 9.45pm tonight. After building up the nest to its liking, the bird settled in and at 10.43pm abruptly lurches forward off the nest almost into the camera lens, revealing a newly-laid, glistening wet egg - less than an hour after arrival!"

2016 CAHOWCAM Highlights

Cahow chick hatching - Replay from 2016 CahowCam

Replay of 2016 CahowCam chick "Tempest" hatching!

Posted by Nonsuch Expeditions - Bermuda on Monday, March 14, 2016

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