Fairy tern numbers double

(photo by Gary Tate)

Fairy tern numbers double in second breeding season

The Rous Head fairy tern breeding sanctuary established by Fremantle Ports attracted 220 adult pairs (440 adults) this summer, producing about 178 chicks.

Last summer’s count was about 90 pairs (180 adults). Early in January this year, 162 chicks (estimated to be about 90 per cent of the progeny) were banded by experienced volunteers under the supervision of a terrestrial and marine ecologist with a special interest in seabird population dynamics.

Fremantle Ports Environmental Advisor Adam van der Beeke said banding was undertaken as very little was known about the structure of our local migratory sub-population, the role of the sanctuary in maintaining the sub-population, and its relationship with other local breeding sites and roosts.

Adam said some of the banded chicks had since been spotted at Woodman Point, Point Walter spit and Peel Inlet, where one was photographed with a fairy tern from Rat Island in the Abrolhos.

Source: Fremantle Ports

Image credit: Gary Tate