Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer En-"tern"-tainment!

In mid to late August, the north beach of Tybee Island is a raucous place. Hundreds of Royal Terns, Sandwich Terns & Laughing Gulls are lounging about. This season's crop of juveniles are begging loudly and the parents are under the gun to bring in the fish. I had a great time watching the terns dive for fish, feed them to the kids, have food fights, and high-speed aerial chases.

There were a few Common Terns lounging about, as well as a number of Black Terns, sometimes flying by and occasionally resting on the beach. I also saw at least half-a-dozen Lesser Black-backed Gulls, plenty of Black Skimmers, and an assortment of shorebirds, including Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones, Western Sandpipers, Willets, and 2 Piping Plovers (one banded.)

Here are some of the images.

Sandwich Tern on Patrol

Sandwich Tern Hovers
Sandwich Tern begins its dive
Sandwich Tern Dive
Sandwich Tern Success!
Yum! Yellowtail!
Royal Tern has a big one!
Open wide, Junior!
Cut to the Chase!
I've got it! You can't have it
Follow that bird with the fish!

Food Fight

Black Tern in Flight
Black Terns Breeding and Molting

Black Tern Wings Wide

Common Tern

Ruddy Turnstone & Sanderling

Piping Plover - yellow and orange bands

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