10/15/08

Terns nesting on Giant store in Easton

I know some of us have been wondering about the terns that nest on the roof of the Giant Grocery Store in Easton. Wayne Bell was able to answer my questions, so I though I'd share it here. Thanks, Wayne!

The birds that nest on the roof of the Easton Giant are Least Tern. This species has taken to nesting on several flat-roofed buildings in the Chesapeake region due to a lack of sandy beaches undisturbed by people and predators. Despite what must be intense heat during the summer, nesting is quite successful and the colony is growing. The original Least Tern colony in Easton nested on the roof of the High School. Nesting was disrupted when a new roof was put on the school but I understand that the contractor took some pains to restore the original gravel design. As far as I know, the colony did not return but apparently "migrated" to the newly built Giant. I know of smaller but also successful colonies atop Queen Anne's County High in Centreville and Rose's in Chestertown. These colonies are monitored by DNR and access to the rooftops during the nesting season is generally denied. I don't know who has oversight, but you might contact Glenn Therres at DNR for more information. I have his office phone as (410) 260-8572 and his email as <gtherres@dnr.state.md.us>.

Some sites to visit to learn more about the Least Tern:
http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i0740id.html
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Least_Tern.html

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