Bermuda Birds

There are only eleven species of native birds, none of which is unique to Bermuda, but there are some forty regular visitors. Frequent or infrequent, it is a harbor of refuge for migratory birds who run into bad weather. Over a hundred different species have been identified at Spittal Pond in a single year. Some of these stop off regularly on trips of several thousand miles. Birds that reach the Colony have always experienced a hazardous flight of at least 600 miles, requiring perfect navigation.

The natives that breed and stay are:

Eastern blue bird - Cat bird
Cardinal red bird - Virginia partridge or bob
Ground dove - white
American crow - English sparrow
White-eyed vireo (known locally as "chick-of-the-village") - Florida gallinule European goldfinch Barn owl

If you spot anybody else, you will know he has had a long trip, unless, of course, you have the rare good fortune to run across a cahow. This indigenous petrel, known nowhere else in the world, was thought to be extinct for over two hundred years until one was seen in 1906. When the first settlers came to Bermuda, they found these birds were so tame they could capture them with their hands, and their desire for fresh meat was such that, within a relatively short time, cahows completely disappeared. Several times since 1906 they have been seen, but it is a very rare event. An early mariner compares the cahow to the medium-sized crows seen around Havana.

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