Common Tern

Common Tern Main Page Photo
Photo: Mad River Decoy

Hollow, rotomolded polyethylene

1” hole with plastic plug (included) or wooden dowel (not included)

Common Terns are one of mostly frequently ordered decoys and are in use in many projects in the United States, Canada and Europe.  They were first used in 1995 by the National Audubon Society Seabird Restoration Program on Maine’s Petit Manan Island National Wildlife Refuge to bring this species back to an historical nesting area.  Birds responded to the decoys and a replacement colony was established.  The decoys were then moved to Pond Island at the mouth of the Kennebec River to re-establish a colony there and this project was also successful.  In 2002 Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program used 100 Common Tern decoys along with mirrors and a solar powered sound system to re-establish a colony on Outer Green Island off the coast of Maine.  Terns had not nested on the island for more than 90 years and by the end of the 2004 breeding season there were 700 pairs of Common and 13 pairs of Roseate Terns nesting there.

Vermont Audubon began a school education program combined with a restoration project in 2007.  Students from two elementary schools painted the decoys in conjunction with their science and art classes.  The decoys are now in use on some islands on Lake Champlain.

In addition to these projects, restoration progams have been or are being conducted in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Grand Manan, New Brunswick, the Netherlands and a St. Lawrence River barge restoration project.

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