Seabird Island News - Vol. 11 - 10 July 2024

Seabird Island News Banner - Volume 11

Tern Talk

In an echo of years past, a Black-crowned Night Heron struck again. Following a mass casualty predation event, Stratton Island now has less than 20 Least Tern chicks, down from over 60 chicks counted earlier this season. The research team continues to monitor Least Tern chick feedings from afar but has discontinued entering the colony to monitor chick growth and productivity to minimize disturbance and encourage any prospective re-nesters to try again.

Tern with larval lobster in its beak
Early in the week, Jenny Island researchers tentatively reported many green colored shrimps being delivered to hungry chicks. After collecting one that was dropped during delivery, the team learned they were actually seeing larval lobsters. Photo: Jenny Island

Stratton Island Research Assistant, Katelyn, heard that a Roseate Tern was seen in her home state of Ohio. Thanks to some good quality photos of that sighting, the team on the island confirmed the bird, with a yellow, field readable band “UF2,” was captured and banded on Eastern Egg Rock in 2022. This bird took quite a detour from its typical range! See this species’ normal migration patterns using Audubon’s Migratory Bird Explorer.





Island Life

Egg Rock’s newest bird blind.
Egg Rock’s newest bird blind. Photo: Sue Schubel

Recovery from winter storm damage continues! A new expanded blind just went up on Eastern Egg Rock to allow better viewing of some of our favorite (and long-term dataset contributing) puffins. The blind was fabricated by attendees of last fall’s Birds of Maine Islands service session at the Hog Island Audubon Camp. It’s not too late to sign up and help us further restore Egg Rock’s research infrastructure this September! Visit the Hog Island website to learn more.

Time sure flies by on a seabird island… Ama, the on-cam Puffin Burrow chick, is already growing big puffin feathers. Thanks to all the fish that dedicated parents Willie and Millie have been bringing back, Ama will be ready to fledge in just a few weeks! In more good news, the Guillemot Burrow pair seems to have finally settled down, diligently returning to their single egg despite continued intrusions from puffins. Viewers have nicknamed this guillemot pair Perse (after ‘perseverance’) and Helios.

Ama gets her feathers
Ama’s fluffy gray down is quickly being replaced by sleek black-and-white feathers. Photo:

The seabird island drama never seems to stop, however. This past week, Ama endured some attacks by puffin intruders that left the chick collapsed on the ground of the burrow. Thankfully, it soon recovered and was even seen fighting back a few days later!

Ama defends the burrow. Photo:

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