Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Return of the terns

May 1 is typically the date for both Least and Common Terns to return to Connecticut give or take a few days. This year we had Common Terns first show up at Hammonasset State Park on April 28. They and their smaller, lighter relatives will overspread the state rapidly. At the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds we will be watching them just as closely as we do Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers. Our nearly 100 monitors and dozens of other volunteers will be providing data and information on these four focal species for the rest of the season.

Least Tern mating ritual - stupendous sightings like these are common for our monitors

What is going to be fascinating for tern populations will be the changes that result from Hurricane Sandy reshaping our beaches and offshore islands. Some areas will have better habitat for nesting terns while others have been too degraded to support the populations they did only a year ago. We need your help all the more to help decipher these complex changes and to monitor the progress of these important species while educating the public on why they deserve our protection. Please email us at if you want to become a monitor or volunteer in some other capacity. None of this would be possible with the tireless efforts of caring Connecticut residents and we thank everyone for donating their time and energy to such a worthwhile endeavor.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos by Scott Kruitbosch © Connecticut Audubon Society and not to be reproduced without explicit CAS permission

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