People Urged Not To Disturb Common Terns

July 21, 2018

It’s the height of summer, and as such, the Bermuda Audubon Society is putting out a plea for “boaters and drone operators to avoid disturbing the island’s tiny population of Common Terns, which are in the middle of nesting season.”

“The sea birds are nesting on small, treeless islands and large buoys in Hamilton Harbour and in St. George’s Harbour. All of the sites are marked with signs,” the Bermuda Audubon Society explained.

Common Tern Bermuda July 20 2018 (1)

“While enjoying a day out on the water, please be aware that it’s also the time Bermuda’s few breeding terns may be sitting on eggs or tending hatchlings,” said Karen Border, president of the society.

“We thank the public for their past cooperation and we are asking boaters again to stay at least 200 yards away from the nest sites. Some of these are marked, but if there is a nest nearby the terns will let you know by taking flight, circling your boat and calling loudly.

“If that happens, please move away as quickly as possible to avoid disturbing the birds any further. They must remain on their nests to protect their eggs from the hot sun.”

Common Tern Bermuda July 20 2018 (2)

“Drone operators are also asked to avoid flying over nesting islands and buoys as the drones are likely to be attacked by the terns, which could cause injury to the birds and damage to the drone.

“Common Terns are actually not at all common in Bermuda. The number of nesting pairs has dwindled to just a handful due to a number of factors, including recent hurricanes.

“Bermuda’s terns have been found to be a genetically distinct sub-species, which makes them especially rare and important. In 1985 Bermuda had 35 pairs of Common Terns producing up to 100 chicks a year; this year there are just ten birds in total.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Whistling Frog says:

    Send memos out to the rats, gulls,owls and herons that will feast on the eggs and younger birds.

  2. Mark says:

    Any chance they could get protected nest sites like the cahows to improve their odds??