Posts Tagged ‘Sparrow’


Common Tern not liking that I am taking his picture!

Hello from Ship! Unfortunately, we don’t have any glorious food updates (though the adult terns are bringing in a lot of tasty fish!), but, we can report that we have little chicks everywhere! They come in all shapes and sizes, from seabirds, to shorebirds, to passerines, to ducklings.


Savannah Sparrow fledgling; basically a little ball with mouth and feathers.

Like Petit Manan Island, we have been noticing the vast variety of plumage colorations exhibited by the chicks, even within one family! Featured below are two chick siblings with different colorations. Chicks range anywhere from a warm sandy tan, to seaweed brown, to a silvery tan. They can have very dark well-defined spots or hardly any spots at all. All of these colors help them blend into their environment. The two below are already getting their juvenile feathers and are around 15 days old. 


Chick siblings exhibiting some of the plumage color variations.

Two of Ship’s posts ago, I posted a picture of an adult tern sitting on “Nest Two.” I am happy to report that they now have three little chicks! They are part of our feeding study. Here is a parent with one of the chicks.


Nest 2 parent with chick.

And lastly, here is a spotted sandpiper nest with 3 chicks! One of them is very freshly hatched and is still wet from coming out of the egg. Sandpiper chicks are very mobile quite soon after they hatch, so we were lucky to witness these.

– Julia


Spotted sandpiper chicks in the nest.


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After a tough summer last year, we’ve been giving the terns of Metinic a little extra space. Zak and I have been minimizing our time in the tern colony itself so that the terns can feel safe and undisturbed. This leaves us with some free time on our hands, so we’ve been keeping busy and satisfying our love of birds by looking for migrating birds in the Metinic woods.

Black-throated Green Warbler - by Zak

Black-throated Green Warbler – by Zak

Reports from previous years included a list of all the species seen on Metinic during each season. We counted them up and found 131 species was the previous record. However (drumroll please)…

As of today, we’ve got a new record: 135 species!

Many of these species are migrants that stop over on Metinic on their way to more northerly breeding grounds. On one single rainy day, we saw 90 species, most of them warblers and other small songbirds in a “fallout” from the bad weather.

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Northern Parula eating a fly – by Zak

To celebrate, here are some of the best photos of our visiting feathery friends. Wish them luck because they’ve still got quite a ways to travel – some are headed all the way to the Arctic!  (Click on the pictures to see them more clearly)

Scarlet Tanager - by Zak

Scarlet Tanager – by Zak

American Oystercatcher - by Zak

American Oystercatcher – by Zak

Black-billed Cuckoo - by Zak
Black-billed Cuckoo – by Zak

Lincoln's Sparrow - by Zak

Lincoln’s Sparrow – by Zak

Yellow Warbler - b y Zak

Yellow Warbler – by Zak

135 birds, and we’ve still got a month and half on the island. We’ll keep you posted as our list grows!


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