This week has been a good week for resighting banded oystercatchers. The tracked oystercatchers we’ve seen roosting, Oreo and Orange Green, have been hanging out with other banded oysercatchers, so we thought we’d start introducing them to the world.
It’s also interesting to note that the bird standing next to AAM is a Caspian Tern. From its plumage it is an immature bird that hatched this year. Caspian Terns breed in very small numbers in North Carolina. In eastern North America, they breed in larger groups (called colonies) in the Great Lakes, the Delmarva Penninsual, and Newfoundland. So the young bird standing next to AAM could have flown from as far away as Canada. But it’s probably not alone. Caspian Tern chicks follow their parents south, and can be heard still begging for food here in North Carolina. The obliging parents will continue to provide the occasional fish throughout the winter, giving their young a better chance to survive their challenging first year. So one of the adult Caspian Terns (not pictured) that was also roosting on the dock was possibly Mom or Dad.
As we find other banded birds roosting or foraging with the tracked oystercatchers, we’ll add the stories of their travels to the blog as oystercatchers from all over the eastern U.S. congregate in wintering areas.