[CT Birds] Baby least tern

Kevindoyle01 kevindoyle01 at charter.net
Sat Jul 27 22:35:43 EDT 2013

Follow up to my osprey observations I venturned out to the sand bar where I hooked up with a local fisherman resident Ossie who knows the least terns very well. Why because he's always being dived bombed said today was the first time he wasn't pestered.

Upon examination it seemed the sand bar had been radically changed since our last visit and inside the enclosure a definite high tide line that ran nearly the entire length. This line ran right through the middle of the nesting terns. After not seeing anything for nearly an hour, 2 adults landed with a fish which caught my eye. Immediately focusing on the pair, I spot this tiny little bird a tad smaller than a piping plover.
Realizing it wasn't spooked by the presence of the pair, I now saw my first baby least tern. The adult approached it with the fish, which it swallowed down with no problem.

From it's size I'd say maybe 3 weeks old with nearly perfectly formed wings which it beated and flexed numerous times waiting for another meal.

After talking to several bird spotters we assumed if the tide got the eggs/nests this little guy may be the lone survivor.

Again not being a biologist I'm not 100% sure but my visuals showed me just the one baby.

A shame to have lost so many ... since so many active nests were reported/counted several weeks ago.

Kevin Doyle New Milford, Ct 10:30 pm

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