Volcanic dry stone walls with Caper (Capparis spinosa) and Indian-fig opuntia (Opuntia ficus-indica) are typical landscape features of Linosa island. Sicily, Italy.
Linosa. The volcano Monte Nero, famous for its five colours, dominates the Pozzolana beach and the western coast of the island.
Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) adult gliding low above the sea surface. These birds must maintain a high speed in order to remain in the air and use the wind above the waves to fly.
The long and narrow wings allow these birds to fly with negligible energy consumption. Recent studies demonstrated that shearwaters can fly for over 2000 Km before returning to the breeding colonies.
At sunset shearwaters rest together in large numbers on the sea surface off the coast of the Island of Linosa waiting for the night before returning to their nesting colony. This behaviour is known as
Adult bird returns to the breeding colony in complete darkness. Their loud call helps to communicate directly with their partner and chick in the nest burrow.
Shearwater with its chick in a nest burrow among volcanic rocks. Procellariids  (the family of birds including shearwaters) breed in large colonies and exhibit strong site fidelity, returning to the same nesting site, burrow or territory in sequential years.
Close-up of a shearwater’s bill. These birds have a characteristic tubular nasal passage that is used for olfaction. This ability to smell helps to locate patchily distributed prey at sea and may also help locate nesting colonies.
Shearwaters lay just one egg. Male and female alternate in taking care first of  brooding the egg and, after this has hatched, of the feeding the chick.
LIPU/Birdlife International ornithologist Jacopo Cecere extracts an adult Cory's shearwater from its nest to take measurements and apply a GPS transmitter on it.
Measurements are taken to know the biometrics and health status of each individual.
Taking bill lenght measures of an adult shearwater.
LIPU/Birdlife International ornithologist Jacopo Cecere and a volunteer use  oil pastel to temporarily mark an adult Cory's shearwater for individual recognition.
A GPS transmitter is applied on the back of an adult shearwater. Thanks to this technology it is possible to follow the birds on their roamings and assess the most important foraging areas in the open sea.
Like little albatrosses of the Mediterranean, shearwaters constantly roam the open sea, covering huge distances in search for food. Their careless flight has always been a symbol of freedom

Once widely distributed across the whole Mediterranean sea, the Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) is now an endangered species: among the many causes, the main one is the sharp decrease in numbers of pelagic fish, its main foraging source. Since 2008 the Italian Ministry for the Environment assigned the researchers of the Italian League for the Protection of Birds (LIPU) to locate the most important coastal and pelagic areas for this seabird species in Italy. The field survey has been mainly conducted on Linosa, a tiny island between Sicily and Tunisia, where one of the world’s largest colonies of this bird breeds among the lava rocks. GPS satellitar transmitters have been placed on the rump of some individuals, allowing the constant locating of the birds' position on the open sea. This allowed some ground-breaking discoveries.

These little mediterranean albatrosses are able to cover hundreds of kilometres of open sea each day and up to 2,000Km before coming back to their nest -always in complete darkness-, to feed their (single) chicks. Beside this, the great fascination for these animals doesn't come out only because of their travelling skills, but also from their typical call, similar to the cry of a newborn child, which impressed the ancient Greek so much that it gave the origin to the myth of the Sirens.
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