Chicks are popping!
As we say on Petit Manan Island, the season is in full swing and eggs are hatching all over the island. We had our first Arctic tern eggs hatch on 17th of June and the first Common terns hatched on the 19th of June and we’ve been banding chicks ever since. This year we have set up 9 productivity fences throughout the island containing from 5-11 tern nests and will monitor the chicks as they hatch until they fledge. Arctic terns take about 21-24 days and Common terns take a little longer, around 27-30 days. Every day we go out into the colony (weather permitting) and weigh each banded chick inside each plot until they have fledged. This in turn will give us a better understanding of productivity in the tern colony on PMI this year. We also had our first Atlantic Puffin chick hatch on the 25th of June and found our first Black guillemot chicks on the 27th of June which was actually Guillemot Appreciation day!
This is my fourth season working with seabirds and I am amazed every year how cute these chicks can be. Every year I watch my fellow biologists turn into little softies after seeing these little creatures. I don’t care who you are, there is no one who could say that this isn’t cute.