Cory’s Shearwater (calonectris borealis) is one of the most emblematic birds of the Azores archipelago.
It is a migratory bird that nests in the Azores, reaching the island complex at the end of February – from west Africa and east of Brazil – where it spends the winter season. Besides nesting in the Azores, this is the most abundant sea bird in the archipelago, having been registered, in 2010, nearly 190,000 breeding couples. And as if it were not enough to be the most abundant, this nesting in the Azores is responsible for about 75% of the species worldwide.
The shearwaters are excellent sea flyers and can fly for a few hours without flapping their wings. They live in groups all year round, both on land and at sea, and benefit from gatherings of dolphins and tuna, thus being able to catch food from the sea (at shallow water).
Their diet is based on small fish such as horse mackerel, mackerel, wood fish, squid and crustaceans.
It is a medium-sized animal and can easily be identified by its characteristics. By the colour of its upper parts (brownish-grey), lower parts (white) and long beak (yellow). It is a clumsy animal and when it lands it has to move on land.
It can be seen between April and November, especially at sea where it makes its crossings between islands. Also, on the coast where they nest. The sound the animal produces is unique and easily recognized. In São Miguel (Boca da Ribeira and Mosteiros), in Santa Maria (Vila do Porto), in Terceira (Fajã da Serreta and Monte Brasil), in Pico (Ponta da Ilha), in São Jorge (Velas, Calheta and Topo), in Faial (Monte da Guia and Capelinhos), in Graciosa (Santa Cruz and Ponta da Barca), in Flores (Fajãzinha and Ponta Delgada) and in Corvo Island.
In October and November, the young shearwaters, about 3 months old, leave their nests for the first time and run various dangers. The shearwaters are mostly guided by starlight but are affected and attracted by strong artificial lights (cars and cities). In this way, they become disoriented and collide, and may even run the risk of being run over.
In this sense, if you see a fallen shearwater contact the S.O.S. Cagarro campaign: 800 292 800 or through http://www.azores.gov.pt/gra/dram-soscagarro.
Procedures for the rescue of a young shearwater:
Slowly approaching the bird from behind;
Cover the animal with a blanket;
Holding the animal carefully;
Carefully place the animal inside a box, properly ventilated;