Alarm raised at poor breeding season for the Common tern in Bermuda this spring

  • Only two Common Tern chicks have hatched in Bermuda this Spring, prompting conservationist David Wingate to raise an alarm in the Audubon Society Newsletter.

    Only two Common Tern chicks have hatched in Bermuda this Spring, prompting conservationist David Wingate to raise an alarm in the Audubon Society Newsletter.


Bermuda may be at risk of losing one of its many bird species, according to David Wingate.

The Common Tern, a close relative of the Longtail, has had a very poor breeding season this year, with only two chicks believed to have hatched.

In the Bermuda Audubon Society Newsletter, Mr Wingate wrote: “The small breeding population was severely impacted by recent hurricane events.

“A complete survey of usual nesting sites in May of this year has only produced two chicks so far. In the Hamilton Harbour Islands three or four adults have made three nests, however none of the eggs have hatched suggesting they may be female-female pairs.

“In Harrington Sound, six adults have only managed to hatch two chicks.”

Early May is considered the peak period for egg production and, while some eggs are laid in late May and June, Terns typically only breed once a year.

Much like the Longtail, the local breeding population of Common Tern has struggled due to the loss of nesting areas and from animals such as rats disrupting their nests.

The already low population was decimated by Hurricane Fabian in 2003, leaving only a handful of breeding pairs.

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Published Jun 9, 2012 at 7:00 am (Updated Jun 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm)

Alarm raised at poor breeding season for the Common tern in Bermuda this spring

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