Looking for Little Terns, Qld

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Looking for Little Terns, Qld
From: jilldening <>
Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 09:00:27 +1000
Hi Everyone,

The migration of the threatened population of the Little Tern is on again.
This population has its breeding stronghold in coastal Victoria and NSW.
Birds are currently moving north from the breeding areas, and we have seen
the first one at Kakadu Beach, Bribie Island, SEQ (thanks to Colin Reid) ,
as well as a report from Lennox Head in nthn NSW.

(Note that there are also Little Terns about, which are not from the
abovementioned population. These birds are preparing for their migration to
the northern hemisphere shortly.)

We don't know where they go after they leave Caloundra, SEQ, although
logically it would be further north along the Qld coast. Their location
between May and September is a mystery. We need the help of birders in the
field in order to know where the birds go, and therefore which habitats
might require higher levels of protection.

If you see a Little Tern with flags on its legs, please take the time to
scrutinise the sequence of the flags. The birds are marked so that the flags
identify an individual bird. A tip: at this stage, this population is coming
out of breeding plumage. In about three weeks they should be totally
non-breeding plumaged.

Here is an example of a typical multi-flagged Little Tern, and how to report
it. It is important to note where each colour is placed.

Observers & contacts: Joe Blow 548943213
Date: Feb 28, 2003
Location: Caloundra sandbanks, SEQ
Left: Red over white lower leg
Right: Pale green over metal band lower leg
You could also note whether the bird is in breeding or non-breeding, or
anything else of interest.

It is OK to report birds to me, as I can pass them on, or you can report
directly to

Much appreciated,


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'     152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

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