Monday, June 20, 2011

Nesting Least Terns

Least Terns are one of the most aggressive birds when it comes to defending their nesting sites from humans and other predators.  They will dive bomb you, they will crap on you, they will screech at you and they will even run into you.  But when I visited a nearby Least Tern colony via kayak this evening I didn't experience any of that.  I attribute that mostly to my knowledge of these birds after years of being around them and a few summers monitoring them.  However, I was also able to tuck in behind some vegetation which made me less visible and I think the fact that these birds are in a remote location they don't necessarily perceive man as a threat like their friends who nest at popular ocean and bay front beaches.  Either way, it was a real treat for me to photograph them so close.  In the above image, the least tern was trying to evade the other which had "goosed" it in a dispute over territory.

Above: The Least Tern after it was not so nicely told to get away.
Below: A Least Tern doing a little yoga. . .

Least Terns are very hard to catch in flight, but sometimes they hover which makes it slightly easier.

And one more flight shot for good measure. . .

If you are like me and have an affinity for birds, check out this guide book to birds on the east coast: National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America (National Geographic Field Guide to Birds)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful shots of the terns, especially the ground level ones. They are such elegant birds!