Until relatively recently, the tiny relict population of Bermuda Petrels (at their lowest ebb, thought to number just 15 pairs) survived only on tiny islets off the coast of Bermuda. Being so low-lying these are extremely vulnerable to erosion and damage by hurricanes.
Masters of the air, Bermuda Petrels normally come ashore to visit their nest burrows only under cover of complete darkness. But at the start of the breeding season (early November) when courtship is taking place, they tend to gather relatively close inshore in the late afternoon.
Freshwater is in short supply on Bermuda (rainwater is the island’s only source for the human population). But brackish pools dot the island and larger bodies like Spittal Pond attract wetland birds such as Tricolored Heron.
Thanks to the activities of man, almost all of Bermuda’s natural vegetation cover has been lost, replaced in the main by introduced and invasive plant species. Understandably this has had a catastrophic effect on many of the island’s native animals. However, the Bermuda White-eyed Vireo is obviously an adaptable bird as it is found in a wide variety of locations and habitats across the island.
All photographs by Paul Sterry. Copyright Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd.