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Archive for June 18th, 2017

Despite the foggy/rainy weather on PMI these past couple days, this past week has been a huge success! Our team was joined by Sara Williams & Linda Welch from MCINWR, Dr. Pam Loring from USFWS, Dr. Ken Meyer from the Avian Research and Conservation Institute in Gainesville, FL, and his daughter, Claire Meyer, to delve into an interesting new frontier in tern research. Satellite nanotags were attached to 5 Common Terns to observe their migration patterns, with hopes that we can use the same methods to track migration of the endangered Roseate Tern. Our team is carefully observing each of the tagged birds (with the help of GoPro cameras) to monitor any changes in behavior compared to 5 untagged Common Terns.

The PMI crew also began trapping and banding Arctic Terns. The crew sets traps over nests and waits up to 30 minutes for a bird to go into the traps. Talk about a test of patience! However, the experience is very rewarding when you catch a tern.

Later in the week were GOMSWG days! Our team along with staff members from MCINWR and a few volunteers conducted a general census on the island of Terns, Laughing Gulls, and Common Eiders. The crew worked hard, but luckily the weather held out so that we had 2 (mostly) rain-free days. Thanks to everyone who helped! We even came across Spotted Sandpiper and Savannah Sparrow chicks. Speaking of chicks…

We are also expecting our first nests to hatch sometime this week! Our productivity plots are just about ready, with minor adjustments to be made. Bring on the chaos! Stay tuned for pictures of chicks.

Happy hatching!

-Jennalie Lutes, PMI

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