[CT Birds] Baitfish numbers near Milford Point

charles barnard jr chbarnjr at gmail.com
Thu Aug 8 18:42:18 EDT 2013

Frank Mantlik makes a good point about the strong possibility that there
has been a low food supply available to terns, as well as other birds, in
the vicinity of Milford Point.  On 2 occasions earlier this summer, while
terns in supposedly decent numbers were still present at Milford Point, I
watched the nesting spit from the observation platform looking for terns to
return with small baitfish in their beaks in order to feed their mates or
any young.  I saw next to none returning with fish, despite the fact that I
observed at a distance through a scope  for about an hour each time.

Herons and egrets were scarce at low tide on the sandbars off of Short
Beach, indicating a lack of abundant baitfish, as Frank has already noted.
This is just one more of the many variables which go into how successful
nesting terns may or may not be. Incidentally, I do not recall any of the
forms which volunteer plover/tern volunteers receive asking any questions
about observed feeding or fish carrying being done by terns. It might be a
good category to add to the forms.

Charlie Barnard Jr

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