[Tweeters] FW: Caspian Tern

David Hutchinson flora.fauna at live.com
Mon Jun 29 16:50:18 PDT 2009

FYI. Hopefully more to come from Dan Roby. DH

David Hutchinson, Owner
Flora & Fauna: Nature Books
Discovery Gardens: Native Plants
3212 W.Government Way

Subject: RE: Caspian Tern
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 12:54:57 -0700
From: Jessica.Adkins at oregonstate.edu
To: flora.fauna at live.com
CC: daniel.roby at oregonstate.edu

FW: Caspian Tern

Hi David,

Dan asked me to respond at least in part to your email by
summarizing what we know about CATE nesting in Puget Sound, as he has been out
of the office quite a bit and I happen to be conducting an aerial survey of the
Puget Sound region next week. Our survey is primarily for breeding
Double-crested Cormorants, but we will also be keeping our eyes out for Caspian
Tern colonies as well.

The Dungeness Spit CATE colony formed in 2003 and we have
monitored the colony since 2004. In 2004 we estimated that 233-293 pairs
nested at the colony, ~680 pairs in 2005, ~795 pairs in 2006, 1,150 pairs in
2007, and 880 pairs in 2008. Successful nesting was reported in all
years, although early season attempts failed in 2004 and 2006 due to coyote
disturbance (late season attempts were successful in both years). This
season it appeared that the colony size would be somewhere in the range of
2007-2008, however the colony began experiencing major disturbance events
by Bald Eagles right around the time we were to take the aerial photo from which
we estimate colony size (about a week ago). Bald Eagle presence on and near
the colony has continued and it is difficult to estimate what the 2009 colony
size or nesting success will be.

CATE also nested on buildings at the Naval Base Kitsap in
Bremerton from 2003-2007. No colony size estimate is available for 2003, however
we estimated 130 pairs in 2005, up to 500 pairs in 2006, and 117 pairs in 2007.
CATE were successful in fledging young in all years at this site. CATE
have been prevented from nesting on the buildings at Naval Base Kitsap since

We have received reports of CATE nesting on or near Jetty Island
in Everett, on buildings in the Bellingham waterfront area, and on buildings in
Commencement Bay over the last few years, however we have not been able to
confirm nesting at any of these sites during the aerial surveys that we flew
from 2006-2008. We plan to conduct our 2009 aerial survey of the Puget
Sound area on Wednesday, July 1st. I will add the
locations you mention to our sites to survey next week. Do you know if it
is possible to get more specific locations on the potential Harbor Island, downtown
Bellingham, and Everett nesting sites? It would increase our chances of
confirming nesting from the air if we could narrow our search area. I
would be happy to pursue this if you have contact information for individuals
who might have this information.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any
additional questions regarding CATE nesting in the Puget Sound area. I
will let Dan respond to your remaining questions/observations.
Additionally, you can find season summaries with more detailed information on
the Dungeness Spit colony at our website: http://www.birdresearchnw.org/Project-Info/publications-reports/unpublished-reports/default.aspx.

By the way, I love your store and try to get there whenever I am
in Seattle!



Jessica Adkins

Faculty Research Assistant

Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Oregon State University

104 Nash Hall

Corvallis, OR 97331

(541) 737-1957

jessica.adkins at oregonstate.edu


From: Roby, Daniel

Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 4:37 PM

To: Adkins, Jessica

Subject: FW: Caspian Tern

Hi Jessica,

Can I ask you to respond to David and let him know what we know about CATE
nesting in Puget Sound? It sounds like he may have some good leads on new CATE
colonies that we aren’t aware of.



------ Forwarded Message

From: David Hutchinson <flora.fauna at live.com>

Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 10:58:42 -0700

To: <daniel.roby at oregonstate.edu>

Subject: Caspian Tern

Hi Dan, I am sure that we have met when I haul my bookshop to P.S.G. mtgs. I am
actually a member of PSG and the Cooper, though I tend to work on bird
questions of local interest. I am the land steward at Discovery Park(DP) in
Seattle, which has a long beachfront on south Puget Sound in Seattle. I am
trying to summarise and comprehend recent changes in CATE for our local area. I
would be most grateful if you could find time to comment on the following
observations and questions.

1) Traditionally Caspians arrived here in early to mid-July, loafing, built to
a peak and dwindled, departing through the Fall.

2) In the last two to four years, birds in the Olympia to Bellingham region,
have been arriving late March/early April, then disappearing at the beginning
of June (DP). Fall cycle unchanged. Have confirmed this by email with a number
of observers.

3)This year, I and several others noticed groups of 5-25 birds flying SE
across Elliott Bay with small fish (young salmon) across their beaks.

4) There is a strong possibility that they might be breeding on warehouse roofs
in the Harbor Island area among Glaucous-winged Gulls. There was a report
suggesting this from last year. About 150-200 birds were seen in this area in
early May.There is a possibility of them nesting on a gravel covered site in
Everett. And there is a confirmed report of numerous birds (100 pairs?) with
eggs on a fenced in gravelled site in downtown Bellingam, where an office bldg
was removed.

A)I know that there has been intentional disturbance and relocation of
colonies in the Columbia river. Has this resulted in much displacement of
breeding activity?

B)I know that there has been a colony of sveral hundred pairs(?) at the end of
Dungeness Spit in Juan de Fuca Strait. Have heard conflicting reports as to the
success of this location, one that it was successful a second that it fails due
to visits from coyotes and rats. Can you comment?

C)Are there other reports of confirmed breeding by CATEs in Puget Sound
or the Seattle area in particular?

D)Can terns carrying fish be merely courtship feeding or displacement activity
or does this generally mean confirmed breeding attempts?

Dan, any comments you can make to sift these pieces so they produce a more
accurate picture would be appreciated. Are there any questions that a chain of
long-term coastal observers on Puget Sound could help to answer. Best


David Hutchinson, Owner

Flora & Fauna: Nature Books

Discovery Gardens: Native Plants

3212 W.Government Way




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