Saturday, May 24, 2014
New Least Tern rooftop colony in Elmwood
Least Terns have colonized the Levitz Furniture rooftop in Elmwood, which is adjacent the southeast edge of the Earhardt x Clearview cloverleaf junction, i.e. across Clearview from Home Depot. I have driven by there frequently in nesting season virtually every year for the last dozen summers without noticing birds above that roof, so this probably a new colony site.
The nesting group is quite large- from a nearby vantage point yesterday afternoon, I counted 106 adults that appeared to be incubating (i.e., were sitting vs. standing). There were already six downy young visible- surprising to me; their incubation period lasts three weeks, and I first saw them in this vicinity in mid-April (see my April 11 blog post)- so they had to get down to business pretty quickly.
There was a single Gull-billed Tern sitting with them- apparently also incubating- much larger, looking the odd-ball.