Bermuda Petrel: Medium petrel, gray-brown upperparts shading to black on rump; white underparts except for dusky sides of upper breast. Base of tail has white band. White face, forehead. Black-brown cap goes to eyes. In flight shows black-gray upperwings, white underwings with black margins, tips.
Range and Habitat
Bermuda Petrel: Endemic to the island of Bermuda, Atlantic Ocean. It was widespread throughout the main island and its adjacent satellites but now is confined to four of the smallest islets in Castle Harbour, Bermuda . Nothing is known of its range at sea, it may wander to the offshore waters of the southern Atlantic states. May have been sighted off the coast of North Carolina.
In 1951, 18 surviving nesting pairs were found on rocky islets in Castle Harbour, and a program was set up by David B. Wingate to build concrete burrows and wooden bafflers for the nesting tunnels in order to keep out the slightly larger, competing White-tailed Tropicbird. The main threat for the future is lack of suitable breeding habitat. The global population of this bird in 2005 was only about 250 individuals.
It is commonly known in Bermuda as the Cahow, a name derived from its eerie nocturnal cries. These cries stopped early Spanish seafarers from settling the Islands out of superstition, as they thought the Isles were inhabited by Devils. Instead they put ashore hogs as a living food store for passing ships, which was the beginning of the end for this species.
The Bermuda Petrel is the national bird of Bermuda, and a symbol of hope for nature conservation. It was thought extinct for 330 years.
A group of petrels are collectively known as a "gallon" and a "tank" of petrels.