Bermuda Petrel

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pterodroma cahow 

Bermuda petrel

The Bermuda Petrel, commonly known in Bermuda as Cahow is a gadly petrel. For 300 years, it was thought to be extinct. The dramatic rediscovery in 1951 of eighteen nesting pairs made this a "Lazarus species", that is, a species found to be alive after having been considered extinct.

The Bermuda Petrel is known for their medium-sized body and long wings. They have a grayish-black crown and collar, dark gray upper-wings and tail, white upper-tail coverts and white under-wings edged with black, and the underparts are completely white.

The Bermuda Petrel measures about 15 inches in length, with a wingspan of 35 inches and weighs about 250 grams

A very vocal species, the eerie nocturnal cries of the Bermuda Petrel led to some early explorers to declare the islands as the "Devils' place".

Typically eat small fish, squid and shrimp-like crustaceans.

Pelagic outside of the breeding season, found in the North Atlantic. Breeds on a handful of rocky islands in Bermuda, with available nesting burrows and cavities.

Bermuda, Nova Scotia and North Carolina, and to the north and northwest of the Azores archipelago.

They nest in burrows and only the ones that can be in complete darkness are chosen. Females return after 4–6 years at open sea looking for a mate. The females lay one egg per season. 40% to 50% fail to hatch. Eggs are incubated by both parents and take 53–55 days to hatch. Hatching occurs between May and June.

The Bermuda Petrel mate for life and typically return to the same nest each year.

Bermuda petrel infographic


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