Friday, 17 August 2012

Black Naped Tern (Version 2)

Been keeping my eye on another pair of  Black Naped Terns nesting on the island and I suspect that this will the last nesting pair of the season / summer until they return next year. This pair decided to nest on the southern side of the island allowing the opportunity to grab a quick 10 minutes with them  2-4 times a week.

Black Naped Tern range in tropical and subtropical areas of the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean. In the western Indian Ocean it breeds on the Aldabra and Amirante Islands,Seychelles, Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory) and the Maldives and can be found on the eastern African coast. Its range in the eastern Indian Ocean and Pacific ecompasses the Andaman Islands, India, east to southern Japan and China, south through Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippenes and New Guinea to north-east Australia and some islands in the western-central Pacific.

They frequent small offshore islands, reefs, sand spits and rocky cays, feeding in atoll lagoons and close inshore over breakers, but sometimes also at sea. It feeds mainly on small fish and will almost always forage singly by shallow plunge-diving or surface-diving. Its breeding season varies depending on locality, usually forming small colonies of 5 to 20 pairs, but sometimes up to 200 pairs. Colonies are often monospecific and formed on unlined depression in the sand or in gravel pockets on coral banks close to the high tide line. 

Above 2 photos shows you one of the adults and below shows you the rocks on which this pair decided to use as a nest location.

Above shows you the single chick at around 14 days old and below shows the chick near on 21 days old.

Below shows you the area in which these Terns nest and as you can see they stay true to form by using the described tropical / sub tropical locations. Not a bad back drop to being able to spend time watching this tropical species of Sterna.

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