If you build it, they will come… eventually

By Sandy Vissman, San Clemente Island Coordinator and Jessica D’Ambrosio, public affairs specialist, Carlsbad FWO

California least tern chick cover under chick shelter at San Dieguito Lagoon. Photo courtesy of Brian Foster/Volant Research Enterprises

The California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni) faces many hurdles for successful nesting and chick production, and this year was no exception. A strong red tide, predators and recreational trespassing affected least terns at sites throughout California. Despite all odds, about 10–15 adult tern pairs, along with their 10 offspring, were observed at San Dieguito Lagoon this past spring, marking the first ever nesting success at two human-made sites.

Adult least tern. Photo courtesy of Brian Foster/Volant Research Enterprises

The tiny, federally endangered bird returns to California each April to breed, nesting directly on the sand at river mouths and coastal strands, from the U.S./Mexico border to the San Francisco Bay. However, loss of habitat and historical nesting sites due to development and recreational use led the California least tern to be included on the first list of federally endangered and threatened wildlife under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. …


Catching Butterflies in the Pacific Northwest

By Zach Radmer, FWS Fish and Wildlife Biologist

2 pics: One showing man with net next to sign; one shows him looking at small orange butterfly on hand
2 pics: One showing man with net next to sign; one shows him looking at small orange butterfly on hand
Zach Radmer, biologist and butterfly enthusiast, looks at the copper. Photo by Jerrmaine Treadwell

“Swoosh!” My net lay still, a colorful quarry perhaps captured after a brief sprint along the trail. …

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