A Noddy enigma

The colours and patterns of the eggs and chicks of ground-nesting terns are generally considered to have evolved to provide camouflage against the background of the nesting areas. This works to a certain extent: Sooty Tern eggs are difficult to see on a sandy substrate and dark brown downy chicks are barely visible among driftwood … More A Noddy enigma

Bird Island’s Sooty Terns – the story continues

Eggs are now hatching over most parts of the Bird Island colony and the parents are highly attentive and protective. Chicks younger than three days are largely confined to their nests, only a few seeking shelter beneath some of the herbaceous vegetation close to their nests. Older chicks, but still covered in down and without … More Bird Island’s Sooty Terns – the story continues

Pirates of the air and sea, but bedfellows too

Frigatebirds, those aerial giants of tropical waters, once called man-o-war birds by seafarers, are renowned for their aerobatic prowess when chasing other birds, especially boobies, in order to persuade the latter to regurgitate their last meal, which the frigatebirds eagerly devour. However, on Aldabra and elsewhere, frigatebirds and boobies breed alongside each other and live … More Pirates of the air and sea, but bedfellows too

Camille Lebarbenchon arrives on Bird Island

Our friend Camille Lebarbenchon, from the University of Reunion Island, has now joined us on Bird Island for the fifth year in succession. He is undertaking ground-breaking research on pathogens carried by seabirds in the western Indian Ocean. On Bird Island this has involved mainly Sooty Terns, Brown Noddies and Lesser Noddies but he has … More Camille Lebarbenchon arrives on Bird Island