The blinds are coming down, flags pulled up, and the tern colony is increasingly moving from the nesting site into the intertidal as they prepare for their long and arduous venture south.
Though data is still being entered and processed we thought we’d give you a snipit of our season…
- Over 750 pairs of Common (52%) and Arctic (48%) terns nested on Metinic this year!!!
- 1 Roseate Tern pair established a nest yet then abandoned (probably, in part, due to constant common tern harassment)
- Feedings appeared to be slim pickings as many many butterfish came in for a couple of weeks straight. This rendered almost all the 2nd and 3rd hatched from a clutch helpless in getting enough food for survival. There were also many invertebrates, stickle back, and other very small fish coming in. Where were all the herring?
The colony also experienced predation; regularly from a peregrine falcon, at least occasionally from an owl (determined by a few of her feathers left behind and the remnants of her meal), and, later in the season, by herring and great black-backed gulls.
- Though the actual fledge rates have yet to be determined there are many awkward crazy haired flyers about.
Other work, besides enjoying the terns, includes evaluating the productivity of Leach’s Storm Petrels who nest within burrows on the island.
And monitoring black Guillemot reproductive rates/productivity. We are watching 40+ nests in which chicks are currently being measured, weighed, and banded.