DV-05-002 Diet, Nest, Attendance and Foraging Areas of Arctic and Common Terns Breeding on Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge

Scott Hall
Research Coordinator, Seabird Restoration Program

National Audubon Society
Belfast, ME

Tern restoration projects have been conducted in Maine since 1978. Restoration efforts have traditionally focused on nesting habitat; there has been less work to identify or protect foraging sites. Reproductive failure is more common on offshore sites like Seal Island, and foraging effort may be an important factor affecting reproduction. Terns on Seal Island prey on Atlantic herring and white hake but in recent years, as fish stocks have declined, the birds have switched to lower quality prey.

This project, a collaboration of the Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Group, is tracking bird movement, nest attendance, and foraging behavior using radio telemetry, field observation, and aerial surveys.

1-year project: $5,000