Saturday, February 25, 2012

Terns

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Terns, La Jolla Shores Beach, San Diego, CA
California least tern is a subspecies of the least tern that breeds on Atlantic East Coast from Maine to Florida. The California least tern is a migratory bird that breeds primarily in the bays of the Pacific Ocean, and is federally listed as an endangered species. 
The number have gradually increased from 582 breeding pairs in 1974 with its protected status, but these migratory birds are still vulnerable to natural disasters or further disturbance by man. 
These small migratory birds once nested widely along the central and southern California coast and the Pacific coast of Mexico. Nesting today however is limited to colonies in San Francisco Bay, Sacramento river delta, and areas along the coast from San Luis Obispo county to San Diego County. The greatest concentration of breeding pairs nest in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties. 

CA least tern need to nest close to the shoreline areas where their prey is abundant. But these places make them more vulnerable to predation and human disturbance. American krestels, burrowing owls, feral cats, nonnative red foxes, crows and other predators take their toll. If their nesting ground is near developed areas, domestic cats, and human-tolerant native species such as racoons prey on them. 
CA least tern is a small seabird, measuring 10 inches in length and a 30 inch wingspan when fully grown. They have black-capped and black-tipped head. They have pale gray wings, white body, yellow bill and yellowish feet. They feed in shallow estuaries or lagoons where small fish are abundant, such as smelt, anchovies, silversides and other small nearshore prey.


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19 comments:

  1. They are so unique looking and cute. Wow, a 30 inch wing span. We have so many crows out here even in the densely populated areas and primarily near the beach. They wouldn't be too safe here. What great shots, Betchai :)

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  2. What a scene when they form a big group.

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  3. Beautiful birds! It's great how you were able to get them in a group photo. I wonder what they see. :)

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  4. super love how they are lined up in the first photo Betchai, they are all such a joy to see,

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  5. hope they'll continue to survive against natural disasters and human disturbances :-)

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  6. Like the reflections in the water.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  7. Beautiful shots of the birds! I hope they will never go extinct!

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  8. This specie is new to me, I have not heard or even seen them. I hope to visit La Jolla next weekend.

    We will be staying in Escondido, and I am not sure of our Sunday schedule, it is so hectic, maybe we can arrange another time to meet.

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  9. the photos speak a lot. a community waiting for something or a long lost friend, friends chatting or friends meeting again after long absence, a lone dude walking away with a broken heart... and the list can go on and on.

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  10. wow!! those birds are precious...love how you sneak to take picture closely...

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  11. Hi Betchai! Your place is full of great sights, we would like to see that side hopefully next year. Baby will be big enough to enjoy the marina.

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  12. I don't think we have terns here. Great pix.

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  13. Those birds are gorgeous. I love their stylish hairstyles.

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  14. have never seen one before. thanks for the info. it is always great to learn something new.

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  15. I really like the CA least terns. Great hair do on them.

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  16. They are so pretty looking! Have not seen one this, Betchai!

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  17. these birdies look so crazy / or better word: punky with their spiky hair. I love it!

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Betchai of
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