Little tern, please grow up healthy and strong!

Little tern, please grow up healthy and strong!

A little tern feeds its newly-hatched young on reclaimed land in Naha City on June 28 (photograph taken by Hiroaki Yamashiro).

July 1, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

The little tern (biological name: Sternula albifrons or Sterna albifrons), a migratory bird designated as an endangered species, is now entering the period in which it is cared for by its parents.

At a site on reclaimed land in Naha City, where a flock of about 50 little terns was confirmed, parent birds were seen restlessly feeding their newly hatched chicks. Just three hours since hatching, the chicks are voracious eaters. They enthusiastically accept tiny fish fed to them by their parents.

Until just a few hours earlier, the parent birds had been patiently protecting their eggs in depressions in the sand, enduring the scorching sunlight and the strong winds from a typhoon for about two weeks until the eggs finally hatched.
The parent birds acted menacingly when people approached their nest, jumping around and letting out an aggressive cry.

Little terns fly into several areas of Okinawa, where they breed in colonies on shingle coasts or reclaimed land sites.
The tern’s body length is 30 centimeters. The head of its summer plumage is black, and its beak yellow with a black tip, features which make the little tern unique.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

Go To Japanese

Slideshow of little tern


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]