Last month we announced the first instance of a Yelkouan Shearwater using an artificial nest box in Malta, now we are happy to report an exciting update from inside the nest box…
Yesterday’s check of the Yelkouan Shearwater nestbox revealed that it contains a fluffy, fast growing chick! The chick is approximately two weeks old and the parents already leave it alone during the day, then come to feed it with regurgitated squid and fish during the night. This is Malta’s first chick to hatch and grow up inside an artificial nest.
We hope to be able to share more successful seabird nest stories, especially now that HSBC are offering us their support. HSBC are funding the rat eradication program in Rdum tal Madonna, so helping to protect new chicks such as this one. Rats are an invasive species to these islands, and as the Yelkouan’s lay just a single egg per year, rat predation on their eggs and chicks are a major threat to these seabirds.
We’ll keep you updated with the progress of this chick and more stories from our Malta Seabird Project team.