Florida’s Least Terns

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Rather close to where I live there is an area that least terns return to eachApril-Mayto nest. They are a small shorebird with a wingspan of 22-24 cm long. Their nesting coloniesappear along marine or estuarine shores, and are not dense. The nests arejust smallindentations in the sand. Because of the way they nest, the colonies are susceptible to predators, such as gulls, feral cats and ghost crabs. Also, in Florida, their colonies have been disturbed by tropical storms. Thecourtship ritural starts by the male bringing the female a fish, which if the female accepts, gives the male the ok to mate with her. The clutch usual includes 2-3 eggs. As I have observed, both parents appear to feed and attend to the brooding and feeding. I try and take advantage of every opportunity to go to this colony and capture these lovely birds.

Courtship

Both Parents Attending ToThe Chick and One Egg

Parent Arriving BackTo The Nest

ALeast Tern Defending Its Nest From AGhostCrab

www.naturesportal.net

Nancy Elwood

Nancy Elwood

Nancy Elwood is a Florida based professional nature and wildlife photographer. Her interest in the natural world started as a child reading and watching National Geographic. After graduating from Florida State University School of Nursing, she developed her interest in photography travelling with several National Geographic photographers to Africa, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. With them she started to hone her skills in capturing natures wonders through a camera lens. Nancy now, when not in the field, shows her work in juried art shows and runs photography workshops.

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Nancy Elwood

Nancy Elwood

Nancy Elwood is a Florida based professional nature and wildlife photographer. Her interest in the natural world started as a child reading and watching National Geographic. After graduating from Florida State University School of Nursing, she developed her interest in photography travelling with several National Geographic photographers to Africa, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. With them she started to hone her skills in capturing natures wonders through a camera lens. Nancy now, when not in the field, shows her work in juried art shows and runs photography workshops.

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Jane Stewart Beseda

Nancy, I am a Least Tern survey volunteer in Playa del Rey, CA. I love your photos. Could I get a higher resolution of Both Parents Attending to Chick and One Egg or Parent Arriving Back to the Nest? I would like to hang a photo in my home.