|photo by Kris Lee|
We know that many of our birds stay in the Wrightsville Beach area until November. Each year it appears that they “stage” i.e., wait for others to make it down the Atlantic coast to our area and then leave together in large flocks. The photo above was taken on September 2nd at the north end of Wrightsville Beach and shows hundreds of Black Skimmers gathered by the inlet.
The posting was removed by a group of Wrightsville Beach Stewards on September 6. Almost all of our chicks had successfully learned to fly and had left the colony. They will continue to practice their new skills as they get ready to head south.
Throughout the summer we were able to band 110 Black Skimmer chicks. Some of our Black Skimmers have already begun the trip South. We recently received a text from a SC Bird Steward, Alice Belanger. Our steward, Jin Bian, met Alice this summer when she was visiting our nesting colony and photographing our birds.
Alice sent photos (see below) taken on Sunday, 8/28 in Huntington Beach, SC of Black Skimmer fledglings that were banded. She wanted to know if they might be our Black Skimmer fledglings, C23 and C45…AND THEY ARE!!!! The fledglings were photographed with adult Black Skimmers (parents!!) and several Royal Terns. The news made us so happy and reinforced how much information we can receive from the process and effort of banding birds.
So with treasured memories of our successful colonies of Black Skimmers, Least Terns, and Common Terns this summer we are already eagerly waiting to do it all again in 2023!