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In Long Beach, a better turn for the Elegant Terns | Los Angeles Times

July 26, 2021

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

As we mentioned a week ago, thousands of Elegant Terns that abandoned their nests at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Orange County after a drone helicopter crashed in their midst, flew northwest to Long Beach Harbor and renested on two barges. Things could be better (like no crashing drones) but they’re managing with a little help from their friends at International Bird Rescue and the barge owners.

Elegant Terns mating, sexually monomorphic (Chuck Bragg, Malibu Lagoon 5-23-11)

The barges were never designated as nesting grounds for birds. Construction firm Connolly-Pacific Co. was getting ready to send them to Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach when they discovered their rock-filled barges had been commandeered by 17″-long seabirds.

As best as I could discover (Handbook of Birds of the World) Elegant Terns incubate their single egg (2% lay two eggs) for about 25 days. The young fledge (leave the nest) after another 30-35 days, but continue to accompany and be fed by the young until November. We saw many hundreds of Elegant Terns at Malibu Lagoon yesterday (Sunday 25 July). For them, nesting season is over.

As baby terns washed up on the Long Beach shore just after July 4th, it’s reasonable to assume they’ll occupy the barges for a month after that, or until Mid-August.

I hope someone somewhere in the government is giving thought to compensating barge-owner Connolly-Pacific Co. for loss of income. Not everyone obeys the law in such matters, and they are to be commended for their good citizenship.

Here’s the write-up from the Los Angeles Times.

In Long Beach, a better turn for the Elegant Terns
Los Angeles Times | Faith E. Pinho | 26 July 2021
Conservation group is rescuing seabirds that settled on barges after colony was disrupted.

Want to help defray International Bird Rescue’s costs for rescuing tern chicks? Go to their donation page.

  1. Cynthia Molnar permalink
    July 27, 2021 8:44 am

    Fantastic story
    Thank you


  2. Linda R Friar permalink
    July 26, 2021 8:59 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to International Bird Rescue. I sent them my support for the Long Beach terns.


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