Post details: Breeding Terns

2009-06-06

Breeding Terns

With the passerine migration over we are now turning our attention to tern ringing. This morning I spent a couple of hours at Askar on the east coast, which has had a colony of mixed White-cheeked and Saunders's little terns for years. Unfortunately, disturbance over the past few years has taken its toll. I only managed to find 4 White-cheeked nests and 3 Saunders's nests in the area that had dozens of nests two years ago.

Saunders chicks

These Saunders's chicks were really feeling the heat as it rose to 42 degrees. What little shade they could get from this rock was a god send.

Saunders's parent

The parents fly out to sea and dip their bellies in the water returning to the nest eggs and chicks to cool them with the damp feathers.

White-cheeked tern on nest

The White-cheeked terns start to breed a little later than the little terns. This bird is on eggs.

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