The first sightings of longtails are not normally made until mid-February, according to Audubon President Andrew Dobson. *File photo by Sarah Lagan
The first sightings of longtails are not normally made until mid-February, according to Audubon President Andrew Dobson. *File photo by Sarah Lagan
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FRIDAY, FEB. 3: The US has Groundhog Day to determine whether it will be an early spring, Bermuda has the longtails.

Bermuda Audubon Society members have reported several sightings of longtails already this year.

Heather Goessel and friends saw one off Coney Island this week while others were seen off Spittal Pond.

Audubon President Andrew Dobson said: "These sightings are much earlier than usual, almost certainly the result of the mild weather we have been experiencing.

“The first sightings of longtails are not normally made until mid-February. The White-tailed Tropicbirds —to give them their proper name — spend the non-breeding season on the ocean to our south.

“The longtails return to Bermuda to breed and the population of some 2,000-plus birds is one of the largest concentrations of tropicbirds found in the region. 

“The concentration is of global significance and so people can ensure that any traditional breeding sites are free of trash and contain a sandy base on which a single egg will be laid."