Roseate Terns

Subject: Roseate Terns
From: Pat and Ian May <>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 10:49:28 +1030
I wish to concur with Frank O'Connor about the abundance of Roseate
Terns in northern waters off Western Australia, particularly during the
wet season.  They are common off the Kimberley Coast from October to
April where large numbers occur anywhere near blue (clear) water
confluence's.   At this time of the year, large mixed flocks of Roseate,
Bridled and Lesser-crested Terns will be seen pursuing bait fish schools
that are numerous through York and Montague Sound and other coastal
waters west of Cape Londonderry.  When attacked by schools of Spanish
Mackerel, Giant Trevalley and Tuna the bait fish frequently irrupt at
the surface and this sets off a frenzy of feeding, which attracts terns
that rush in to pick up leftovers.

Each year numerous colonies of Roseate terns, some exceeding an
estimated 5000 breeding pairs, can be found nesting from February to
April at various locations in the Coronation and Institut Island
Groups.  Regularly used nesting colonies can also be found at Low Rocks
south west of Hat Point near the eastern entrance of Admiralty Gulf,
Jones Island north of Vansittart Bay, Bird Island in Napier Broome Bay
and Leseuir Island east of  Cape Londonderry.   Their colony locations
seem to alternate between different nearby islands over about a three
year cycle although some sites such as Low Rocks are used annually.

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