Sears Cave
0.38 acres
Sears Hill, Smith’s Parish
Gift from the Trott family in memory of Sir Howard and Lady Trott, 1990
Access by appointment only

Some of Bermuda’s rarest ferns survive in this large limestone sink, once used as a garbage tip. It is now fenced off for safety reasons.

The limestone sinkhole was formed when the roof of a large cave chamber collapsed, exposing it to the elements. The resultant deep, steep-sided depression is an ideal habitat for ferns, being sheltered, shady and humid. Garbage dumped in the cave in the past has been removed, and the site is maintained as a botanical reserve for some of Bermuda's rarest fern species, including the largest remaining colony of native Cave FernCtenitis sloanei, a species found in only three other tiny locations on Bermuda. The long pleenwort Asplenium heterochroum is also present in small numbers. The larger marsh shield fern and sword fern are well represented.Recently, specimens of the extremely rare endemic Governor Laffan's Fern Diplazium laffanianum have been planted here.

Sears Cave is also interesting in that it once may have been a roosting or nesting site for Bermuda's only resident breeding bird of prey, the Barn Owl Tyto alba, though it has now becoming a nesting site for feral pigeons, which are periodically culled. At present, a wild hive of honeybees Apis mellifera make their home in the upper reaches of the cave. 

Sears Cave 2

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Acknowledgements:

Photos courtesy of Andrew Dobson, Paul Watson, Chris Burville, Ras Mykkal, Jennifer Gray, Rosalind Wingate, Rick Slaughter and others.

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The Bermuda Audubon Society
P.O. Box HM 1328
Hamilton HM FX
Bermuda