Pregnant petrel

Today another first, this time in the ornithological world. Researchers were throwing chum overboard in the Indian Ocean off the only breeding site of the Mascarene petrel (Pseudobulweria aterrima). They managed to lure 33 of the dwindling and little-studied birds, 12 of which they caught on camera. One of these was a female of the estimated 100 breeding pairs of these petrels that remain. And she had a baby bump! The photograph (ABOVE, MORE IMAGES HERE) is the first documented image of any bird flying while obviously bearing an egg. The photographer Hadoram Shirihai describes, “Against the background of a pinkish-orange sunset, with Réunion Island in the distance, I spotted a petrel through my camera’s viewfinder. Almost immediately I saw the outline of an egg, a huge bump at its belly. I called out to the other expedition members — ‘she has an egg, she has an egg…’. She flew close to the boat which gave me the unique chance to photograph her just before the sun set. It was a magical moment, and to think that in less than an hour she would probably lay her egg and contribute to the future survival of this threatened species.”

By: Quigley’s Cabinet
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries

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