Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday - California Least Terns

I've posted previously about one of our local beach bird species that is on the endangered list due to loss of dune habitat - the Western Snowy Plover.  Sadly, though, that is not the only species affected.  The California Least Tern also utilizes the rapidly-disappearing dune habitat for nesting and is similarly threatened.   The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and nearby Bolsa Chica state beach have both set aside protected nesting areas for the Terns and Plovers.

After watching the adult birds fly back and forth diving for fish during breeding season, I was lucky enough to witness the successful results below as a Least Tern fledgling waited for its parent to bring it a meal...except it wasn't quite ready for the meal it got...




Here's the fledgling, patiently waiting to be fed.
 

 

Parent shows up with a fresh-caught, delicious fish...
 
 
 
 
However, like many children, this kid is a picky eater and loudly protests not receiving any more "pre-digested" fish...
 

 
 
The parent bird continues to patiently offer the fish...
 

 
 
...but Junior is having none of it and continues to squawk.


 
 
Junior eventually turns his back and walks away...


 
 
...in fact, he takes his first short flight in attempt to get out of eating fish for dinner.



 
 
He only makes it a few feet away...


 
 
...but poor Mom or Dad is left behind...still holding the now much-less-fresh fish.
 
KJ
 
 


4 comments:

Chris Rohrer said...

I know. It's sad to think that several of those cute birds are endangered. While I'm in California, it's hard to ignore all the vehicle tracks on the sand where these birds breed. Great photos of the Least Terns. Cute little birds.

Dianne said...

very cute and imagine turning down freshly caught fish for breakfast !!

Breathtaking said...

Nicely captures moments!:) The Least Terns are pretty birds, and look lovely in the middle of the purple flowers,...but the juvenile is a fussy eater indeed.

bettyl-NZ said...

I guess teenagers are the same all over! What lovely birds and the moments that you captured are great.