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Cahow Head

Cahow, also known as Bermuda Petrel is Pterodroma cahow from shearwater family called Procellariidae. Its plumage has brown color with white markings.

Cahow is a seabird, which resides only in Bermuda. The name Cahow is derived from its eerie cries. This is a nocturnal bird. It is also a national bird of Bermuda, representing a symbol of hope for nature conservation. During a starvation period (1609-21) in Bermuda, great numbers of cahows were killed for food. There was a time when it was assumed that the species is no longer exists, but later in 1951 numbers of Cahows were found on islets off Bermuda. But now the species is again in danger of extinction. The story of Cahow inspired many filmmakers.

During the non-breeding season, the cahow roam above the open sea for 7 to 8 months. After that they return to the shore and nest in burrows, where it raises its young. Cahows are the excellent fliers. It is a slow breeder. It mates for a life. As an adult it flies over an open sea. After five years it returns to its nesting place and starts breeding. It lays only one egg per season.

The Cahows' night cries made the Spanish seafarers to not to settle on the Island. The seafarers thought that the Island is inhabited by Devils. On the other hand they put hogs as a living food store for passing ships, and like this attack on cahow's existence is started.

Followed by that the Island was habited by the English. They introduced animals like dogs, cats and rats, which in turn killed the Cahows in great numbers. By seeing the large number of decrease in the Cahows, the Governor announced an act "against the spoyle and havocke of the Cohowes." Despite of that there was a large decrease in the cahow birds and it was assumed that the birds are driven to extinction since the 1620s. Flying Cahow

But later in 1951, number of cahows were found on the rocky islets in Castle Harbour. There after to save the species David B. Wingate set a program to build concrete burrows and wooden bafflers for the nesting of the cahows. However, in 2003 the Hurricane Fabian destroyed many of their nesting burrows. Now the threat for their existence is that there is lack of suitable breeding habitat for them.

Now the species is again in the threat of extinction. According to counts in the 2005, the bird's world population is just about 250 individuals.