In mid-June, I had an itch to return back to the least tern nests of St. Augustine Beach. So my childhood friend, Kim, and I drove up to Jacksonville to also visit my daughter for the night. In the morning, we left for the colony. When we arrived, it was at first much like earlier … lots of least terns bringing in, and flying around with, fish intended for the females.
As per last week, sometimes the female still didn’t take the male up on his offer.
“Wait … you forgot to take the fish!”! LOL
It wasn’t just the least terns that were calling the beach home, the Wilson’s plover also had nests and young ones in the roped off nesting areas as well.
I did finally get to see a few of the least tern chicks as well, though they were mainly covered up or huddled next to one of the parents.
Again, it was a bit scary when both of the parents would fly off and leave the young chick exposed.
While some of the baby birds were out in the open, sometimes the parents strategically placed their young one in the grasses, which provided for a bit of protection for the little ones.
During breaks in all of the action, some least tern preening was always on tap.
When all else failed, there was a never-ending supply of males flying around with fish. When the females would turn them down, sometimes they would just land nearby and devour it themselves.
It’s my hope that the young ones survived their early days, when they were very vulnerable to predators and mother nature in general.
Wanted to squeeze in another trip to see them, but I had to get on the road with Tom for his cycling competitions.
Want more burrowing owls? Well, stay tuned. 🙂
© 2015 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography