[Tweeters] Roseate Terns in Bermuda after 170 years provide rare GOOD news; birds/smoke; swallows

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 22 21:34:37 PDT 2018

Hi all,

A friend who lives in Bermuda sent me this. Who knew Roseate Terns were better than other Terns at surviving Hurricanes?:

One of the world’s rarest seabirds has nested on Bermuda again after a gap of nearly 170 years, an environmental organisation said today.

The Audubon Society said a pair of roseate terns built a nest on a small nature reserve islet in the Hamilton Harbour/Great Sound area and hatched a single egg last month.

David Wingate, former conservation officer, said: “Out of concern for the safety of the birds and the egg/chick, it was decided to keep the exciting news quiet until the chick had fledged.”

Dr Wingate added the chick hatched on July 24 and was double-banded and DNA tested.

He said it had now fledged and would probably head south to spend the winter with its parents off the east coast of Brazil.

Dr Wingate added: “It is highly likely that the same pair will return to nest again next year, but the chick, which we nicknamed Phoenix, will take at least three years to mature.”

The pair were spotted in Hamilton Harbour by Dr Wingate and Miguel Mejias in May.

The roseate tern — Sterna dougalli — was once common in Bermuda, but was wiped out by scientific collectors and bird shooters in the 1800s.

The last nests were reported on Gurnett Rock at the entrance to Castle Harbour in the east end in the 1840s.

The island still has a small population of the common tern — Sterna hirundo — but numbers have suffered a major decline because of hurricane strikes during the nesting season.

Dr Wingate said: “One encouraging fact about the roseate tern recolonisation is that they are much better adapted than the common terns to survive hurricanes and largely replace the latter in the hurricane belt, notably in the Bahamas and the Antilles.”

He added the roseate tern was more common in Bermuda in the 19th century than the common tern, before they were collected and hunted to extinction on the island.

On smoke:  We had a very unusual fall migration fallout at our recirculating creek (Butyl Creek) on residential Beacon Hill in Seattle on Tuesday 8/22.  In the early morning we had a big fallout of southbound migrants, at least 3 Western Tanagers, at least 3 Willow Flycatchers, a Pacific-slope Flycatcher and a Western Wood-pewee several Yellow Warblers, several Orange-crowned Warblers and a Warbling Vireo and a Cedar Waxwing.  Then the rest of the day and all day today nothing in the way of migrants, although the Cedar Waxwings have stuck around.  It seems to me consistent with the idea that these birds are trying to "get out of Dodge." Ironically--and tellingly, the day would have been our best yard bird day ever if we had been able to see a Eurasian Starling.

On Swallows:  I think we have to divide these populations, and not just by species. I've been to many places this summer where Barn Swallows appeared to be doing the same as always, that is to say, fine,(for example Wilkeson, WA, last Sunday).  But all these places were in the riparian zone or on the surge plain of a river or by a body of water. By contrast, the upland-nesting Barn Swallow population in Seattle appears to me to be a thing of the past. We are talking about what once was a vast and abundant population, and one that was hanging on until very recently. I know of about 20 traditional Barn Swallow sites just in my area of Beacon Hill, and they were all over the city as well. I'm hoping other neighborhoods have not seen the same phenomenon, but I suspect they have.  It could be simply a case of a species retreating from marginal habitat during difficult times, ore maybe tree growth in the city (which has been considerable--when we moved on to Beacon Hill in 86 we thought of it as a neighborhood with very few trees.) could also be a factor as Hal Michael has suggested.  But that should help the Violet-greens and instead they have declined significantly, but are not yet completely gone from the Hill.  I would fear more evil causes are pretty big in the mix.

Well, just some thoughts and a big congratulations to those beautiful Roseate Terns.

Long live Biodiversity/The Creation!!!!

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com  residential Beacon Hill, Seattle and Butyl Creek, where the party never ends.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/attachments/20180823/be404b61/attachment.html>

More information about the Tweeters mailing list