Less Least Terns
This week we did another walk-through of the exclosure as we looked for possible nests and scrapes. We began the walk-through at about seven in the morning, and it took us a couple of hours to survey the site. During our time there we only saw about eight Least Terns fly over the exclosure. The numbers have gone down a lot since last time we did the walk-through. Last time we did it closer to noon. This is the time that the terns go out to forage for food and we expect to see less terns at this time. This past week we would expect to see more because it was early in the morning but we didn’t. We did not come across many scrapes either. Some of the reasons that the number has gone down may be because they are looking at other sites to nest and might return, or maybe the number of crows in the area has driven them away. We also saw a Great Blue Heron land in the exclosure when we were close to finishing the walk-through. Great Blue Herons prey on Least Terns and their eggs. This might be another reason that the Least Terns have left. During our walk-through we also saw over twenty crows land in the exclosure, all at once, and walk through the site. They were there for about seven minutes and then flew off. I am going to monitor the site more frequently and maybe I will see something else that is affecting the terns or maybe I will see them return. I am hoping for the latter.