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Post-spring migration colony-site prospecting by Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii)

July 16, 2018

We recorded banded Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) and unbanded individuals mated to banded individuals in May and the first third of June in 2001 and 2002 to quantify post spring migration prospecting by this species at Falkner Island, Connecticut, USA. In 2001, more than one quarter: 34/125 (27.2%) of those observed by 19 May and 38/150 (25.3%) of those observed by 25 May did not remain at this colony site and went elsewhere to attempt breeding. In 2002, fewer terns were observed by 19 May, but an even higher percentage: 11/28 (39.3%) of those seen by 19 May and 58/151 (38.4%) of those seen by 25 May did not stay and nest. Our results demonstrate that a substantial proportion of the earliest arriving individuals at this site are prospecting and gathering information about local conditions before making a decision about going elsewhere to nest.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Post-spring migration colony-site prospecting by Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii)
Authors Jeffrey A. Spendelow, Adam J. Eichenwald
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Bird Bander
Series Number
Index ID 70198082
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

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