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SOS Cagarro

Found a Corys Shearwater or Cagarro? Please call the free / 24-hour helpline: 800 292 800 for support.

Every year, the Regional Government of the Azores develops the SOS Cagarro Campaign aiming particularly to increase awareness in the Azorean population to the need of preserving this protected species, which nests in the Azores.

Every year, the Cory’s Shearwaters choose the Azores to mate and raise their newborn young. They can do it for thirty years, from the time they reach adulthood, at 7 years of age, to the age of 40. The Madeiran and Azorean population of Cory’s Shearwaters represents about 85% of the world population of the species. But alas the destruction of their nesting habitat due to the introduction of exotic plants and animals, urban growth and coastal roads network threatens the species. The juvenile Cory’s Shearwater have a high mortality during autumn on the roads due to not being aware of cars.

Despite the fact that the Azores possesses the world’s largest population of the subspecies Calonectris borealis (85%), the European population of Cory’s Shearwaters has an unfavourable conservation status and has been decreasing in recent decades.

– Please be extra aware during October and November as the juvenile birds are nesting and returning to the island. Please drive extra carefully at night as you could unintentionally run one over.

– DO NOT disturb nests under any circumstances
– DOT NOT take selfies near nests as you can endanger the birds nesting patterns (I can’t believe this even needs to be stated…)

(1) Slowly approach the Cory’s Shearwater using gloves (ideally)
(2) Gently cover the bird with a coat, blanket or towel
(3) Without harming the bird, lightly grab its neck and tail, in order to hold the whole body. Carefully, place it in a cardboard box.
(4) If possible, deliver it to the Natural Park Services or a local collection point (Police Station, National Guard, Fire Station). Otherwise, keep it inside the box during the night, in a quiet and dark place
(5) Next morning, release the Cory’s Shearwater laying it carefully on the ground, by the sea. The bird may take some time to react and fly away. It will leave once ready
(6) Please register each bird you save on the official government website, contributing to the conservation effort 


(1) Do not approach the bird if you do not know exactly how to proceed.
(2) Do not hold the bird by one or both wings, nor allow it to spread them while you are holding it. This will cause the bird to become increasingly agitated and can potentially injure it.
(3) Do not provide any water, food or medicine.
(4) Do not throw or force the bird towards the sea; if thrown, it may not take off immediately and may get injured. The bird will fly away once ready.