At the Beach with a Least Tern Chick
I stopped by Parker Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport Mass on Saturday, hoping to photograph the Endangered Least Tern and Piping Plover juveniles.While there were plenty of juveniles around, I was somewhat surprised at the number of scrapes still containing eggs. It is pretty late in the season, although a biologist I spoke with said the same scenario occurred last year.
This is a photo of a Least Tern scrape with a newly hatched chick, and an unhatched egg, outside of the roped off nesting area. If you were walking along the beach not paying attention, it would be very easy to step right on them without even noticing. Hopefully, if the parents are near by, you will know you are near a nest by the reaction of the parents who will dive at you, or spread their wings and "look menacing".
This is a photo of a Great Egret who has plundered a Plover nest killing one of the chicks.(photo taken at Fort Desoto in Florida)
Once a chick has hatched, the Least Tern parents spend most of their time feeding their young.
If you would like to check out these endangered birds, the Parker Wildlife Refuge http://www.fws.gov/northeast/parkerriver/ is a great spot. Early August is prime time to view the young ones. If you do go, please obey the posted signs, and most of all WATCH YOUR STEP !
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