2022—Sing for Your Supper

We arrived at Duxbury Beach just outside of Plymouth, Massachussetts about 7:00 AM on a warm and sunny Monday morning. The intermingled Least Tern and Piping Plover nesting colonies on the rocky beach above the high tide line are roped off with “keep out” signs to protect both species and to keep their nesting colonies from being trampled and otherwise disturbed. These terns nest on the sand among the rocks and seaweed in a small scrape or depression and they blend in with the rocks and sand around them so they are difficult to see. We were first alerted to their presence when the small white birds, usually in pairs, flew to and from the rocky edge of the colony. Most of the birds we saw and photographed on our first morning there were Least Terns, the smallest of the Tern family. The young are growing fast and will be leaving in a few weeks with the adults to fly south. Parents feed their young offspring as they grow. The juvenile terns we watched were quiet and still until they saw or sensed their parent arriving with a small fish. Then, they began to squawk and flap their wings to make sure Mom or Dad couldn’t miss seeing them. Here the young bird squawks and flaps, singing for its supper. It’s efforts paid off.

Leave a Reply