Friday, August 24, 2012

Pledge to Fledge and Gull-billed Tern

 Thursday evening I had the "job" - using the word very loosely - of overseeing a 3 hour Big Sit from the Cape May Hawkwatch platform in Cape May Point State Park, NJ. This was part of the Pledge to Fledge birding event, which attracted new birders, including some very cute kids, to the park and hopefully to the sport. Kudos to Richard Crossley and Dave Magpiong for getting this event off the ground.
We rounded up 62 species, 6 of which were terns: Forster's, Common, Black, Royal, a couple Sandwich Terns nicely picked by Tony Leukering, and the juvenile Gull-billed pictured here.
The Gull-billed, which has been at the state park for over a month now hunted almost continuously over Bunker Pond, giving us something fun to watch whenever we looked. These birds are graceful, smoother fliers than Forster's or Commons, and only pick from the surface (below) or capture airborne insects rater than plunging for fish.

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