Seeing stormies in the dark


Storm petrels are small seabirds that forage on the open sea and nest in inaccessible colonies on the steep rocky slopes of Atlantic islands. They only visit the breeding colonies at night and shy away from torchlight, so this makes them very difficult to study. In May and June this year, Matt visited the spectacular island of Skokholm to trial the use of a thermal imaging camera to reveal the habits of these elusive birds. The results were remarkable, and the disturbance to the birds minimal as they were observed in complete darkness. Such is the promise of this technique, we’re seeking funding for a student bursary to study storm petrels on Skokholm in summer 2014.

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