Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Terns at Ft. Pickens - Redux

I was able to track down a local expert, birder extraordinaire Lucy Duncan, and she was able to provide a tern translation, if you will, for yesterday's tern video. Once I read it, the scenario - which I'm seeing frequently in the bird colonies now - became very clear! You'll have to ignore the raucous calls of a loud sea gull out of camera view, though you see his shadow flying over a couple of times. Here is Lucy's wonderful translation of the interaction I captured:


Youngster: "I'm here. Feed me, feed me now. I'm here. Don't forget me! Now! I'm hungry. Why don't you feed me? What? Why? Huh? you expect me to go out and get my own fish?"

Adult: "It's time for you to do it yourself. I'm not going to be around all your life, so get used to it."

Youngster: "I don't know how. You're not fair! Feed me, feed me, feed me."

Adult: "Scram, I'm scratching. A tern has to be careful how they look, you know."

Youngster: "But Mom-om-om, I'm hungry! I'm here!"

Adult ignoring the kid: "Just go try. See? Little Sammy's doing it. Go on. Scram."

Eventually the juvenile catches on, and prompted by hunger, starts fishing on its own.

Thanks, Lucy!

I'm really going to miss patrol days at Santa Rosa and Ft. Pickens where I have the privilege of seeing bird colonies, spectacular sunrises, and dolphin activity. There is only a month left to go, if that.

1 comment:

BaysideLife said...

That last little tern sure had a lot to say! Sweet video.