Tern Raft Update

We had a wonderful update this week about the Tern raft we sponsored at Pitsford Water Nature Reserve for The Wildlife Trusts for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire earlier in the year.

Common Terns are seabirds who nest on shingle beaches, gravel shores and rocky islands putting them at risk of disturbance and a variety of predators. They’re recognisable by their silver-grey bodies, black cap head feathers and orange beaks and legs.

Originally crafted for the Common Tern colonies who come to nest in the summer, the rafts have also been used by Geese, Ducks, Oystercatchers and Black-headed Gulls this year! We’re delighted to see that the rafts are working and giving these birds a safe space to nest away from land predators and helping many other species too.

Unfortunately, many of the Black-headed Gull and Common Terns were affected by Avian flu recently; the Gulls recovered enough to breed, making around 20 nests, but only two Terns remained. Luckily the little floating island sponsored by IMK has become home to the pair of Terns who escaped the Avian flu that sadly affected a lot of their colony. After finding safety and nesting together on their now private island, they've been hard at work looking after their chicks. They’ve been doing a great job of protecting them from other predatory birds such as Crows and Buzzards. This highlights the importance of active conservation as the Terns and other birds have to survive through all kinds of difficulties to breed.

At the end of summer, the Terns will begin their migration back to Africa until it’s time for them to nest again. Hopefully, the Tern couple will return next year along with their grown-up chicks!

There’s room for a lot more rafts on the reservoir and The Wildlife Trust is grateful for any donations, especially now they’re being used by so many different species of birds. Visit the website here to learn how to sponsor a project. It’s the perfect opportunity to give back to the community and preserve nature.

Tern Raft Update

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