Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Endangered Little Tern

This post is for World Bird Wednesday.

Sometimes it's not the quality of the photo that counts but the fact of a photo record at all!
I was out at Inskip Point last week photographing shorebirds and rather as an after thought I turned around to photograph some of the Terns. There were four kinds there - Caspian, Crested, Common, and Little Terns - and I wanted some record shots. One of the birds I photographed was a Little Tern with a lot of breeding plumage and even a beak that was yellow with the black dot at the end. This didn't make sense to me at this time of year so I sent the photos on to an expert in Terns and the word came back that I had photographed one of the endangered Australian Little Terns on its way north to breeding grounds.
We see lots of Little Terns here but they are the population that breeds in Asia and flies south to spend summer here. The population of Australian Little Terns only migrates within Australia. Unfortunately they are having a hard time breeding successfully as the beaches they use are also used widely by humans, and dogs, and (south of here) introduced foxes.
Inskip Point is recognized as an important shorebird roost but finding an endangered Little Tern there makes it even more important.
Added Later: After a number of comments I thought I should add that there are laws here in Australia (as well) protecting nesting shorebirds. Also there are volunteers that do their best to protect Tern nesting sites. Unfortunately, it only takes one careless person with a dog off-leash! There is also a problem with enforcement of "no-go" areas. Unless there is a ranger with legal powers some few ignore signage! Sometimes I despair!!

22 comments:

  1. Nice catch!! Can't the authorities restrict part of the beach!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a lovely little bird to see..
    As Gary says is there no way to protect them?

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a stunner - they do need some sort of protection

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a pretty Tern, great photo. I always try to get a shot just for my records sometimes. It is sad that their breeding grounds are being trampled on. I think they should rope off an area for them like they do here for our Piping Plovers. It seems to help some.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We have the same problem in Europe. But I am glad you found one. It makes it a bit hopeful I think.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Agree with your sentiments exactly. Always worth talking a photo as you never know what you will find caught by the camera later.

    ReplyDelete
  7. i couldn't agree more. none of my pictures are perfect...but they are perfect for me!!

    i'm sure this is very special to you. i hope they get some help!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's funny isn't it Mick? That a off handed shot turns out to be so important. Lucky your curiosity peaked. Let's hope for a resurgence in the Little terns fortunes, and an uptick in our fellow citizens awareness of the needs of our world's endangered shorebirds.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congratulations on your Little Tern.
    Dogs off leash and some humans are really a nuisance everywhere in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sometimes humans can be trusted as little as foxes. Glad you bagged one at least to prove that they are there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great catch, mick. Something for us to watch out for.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi there - for a nation that builds its myths around the bush and the surf, it’s surprising how little idea some people have!

    Good pictures - and good luck to the turns!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  13. How amazing to capture such a rare bird!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a thrill for you I am sure! Such a pretty bird.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a wonderful discovery! Such a pretty little bird.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What an opportunity! I hope they thrive and make a comeback.
    Of course we have the same problems here with people who don't give a hoot about wildlife.:(

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice find -- terns are lovely birds!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congrats on the sighting Mick! I get so irritated with people that can't follow simple rules to help conserve our dwindling wildlife. We have the same problem with breeding, federally threatened Western Snowy Plovers here in California.

    People need to learn how to share the planet!

    ReplyDelete