Sunday, June 21, 2009

One good Tern deserves another!

Saturday, friend Margie picked up five rehabilitated Least Terns from the Florida Wildlife Hospital to release in Cocoa Beach, near where they had been rescued. This is her account. The Least Tern release went really well. I had five of them in a mesh cage. They were quiet all the way to Cocoa Beach in the back seat. They stayed quiet, but watchful, while I carried them down a very long walkway to an area of the beach where a large flock of Least Terns gathers every day. As soon as we stepped onto the beach and heard the first cry of an adult Least Tern flying overhead, all the little ones in my carrier went wild. A couple started trying to fly out, and they all started chirping like mad. I took them down toward the water, as close as I could get to the flock, which had at least 50 birds in it.

As soon as I opened the top of the carrier, one flew out, then another, then a third. The last two were confused and needed a little encouragement, but they all flew well and joined the other birds.

The youngsters are on the far left of the below photo , with the light heads. (Margie titled this photo Everybody is facing this way, so I will too!)

A reminder - many shorebirds are beach nesters. Watch where you step, and don't approach birds that look as though they may be nesting. Be mindful of posted signs that warn of bird nesting areas. Don't let children run into flocks of birds just to see them fly - birds need their rest, too. Birds such as these Least Terns are designated as Protected, so please do your part in protecting them. For more information on nesting shorebirds, visit (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission).

Thanks to Florida Wildlife Hospital for their work on behalf of our wildlife, and to Margie for her volunteer efforts and her photographic ability - taking photos and releasing birds simultaneously is quite a feat! Good thing our Florida birds know how to pose.


Cactus Jack Splash said...

Lucky birds, hope they all do will in the wild

Florida Beach Basics said...

thanks, and thanks for fixing link on your site - I know Google is working to fix the problem, but it is taking a while. marge