Welcome to Bird Island! This morning, 19 June, we found our first Sooty Tern chicks in the colony – three of them among the several hundreds of thousand eggs still to hatch.
Sooty Terns incubate their eggs for 28 days, meaning that these eggs must have been laid on 22 May. We had been told that islanders found the first eggs on 25 May, but it is easy to miss the first arrivals in the colony. In my blog of 13 June, I noted that this year’s breeding season had started early but clearly it was even earlier that we thought.
Let’s hope that these three birds, and all that follow them, survive their early days in the colony and then their five years of learning life skills in the tropical Indian Ocean, and eventually return to breed themselves in Bird Island’s remarkable colony.