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Common Terns on Lake Erie

Posted on May 6, 2014

Now that we are a partner in the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds I am working every day to coordinate our volunteer and monitoring efforts in conservation and education across Connecticut focusing on Piping Plovers, Least Terns, American Oystercatchers and Common Terns among all other shorebirds, long-legged waders and terns. I was very happy to enjoy one of our target species this past Sunday as I saw at least 85 Common Terns off Dunkirk Harbor here in Western New York.

These “Commons”, along with nine or more Caspian Terns, were feeding in Lake Erie and resting on nearby docks and marinas. In the group photo and the final photo you can see Bonaparte’s Gulls in the mix as well.

Common Tern Dunkirk Harbor 5

Common Tern Dunkirk Harbor 4

Common Tern Dunkirk Harbor 3

Common Tern Dunkirk Harbor 7

Common Tern Dunkirk Harbor 6

Common Tern Dunkirk Harbor 2

Common Tern Dunkirk Harbor

Common Terns Dunkirk Harbor

Common Terns Bonaparte's Gulls Dunkirk Harbor

Bonaparte's Gull Dunkirk Harbor

Watching them plunge-diving into the water and hearing their calls screeching through the windy and still cool air off the cold lake was a heck of a fantastic time. Common Terns are about to arrive in Connecticut as the species actually crosses over to the Great Lakes from Delmarva before other birds head up the Atlantic Coast to New England. Once their spring migration ends we will be working hard to protect nesting areas and help the species have a successful summer in Connecticut, New York and elsewhere.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator

Photos © Scott Kruitbosch