Out on the Project Puffin island of Matinicus Rock, supervisor and seabird biologist Caroline Poli describes how to band a tern chick for research. Matinicus Rock is one of the seven Maine islands monitored by Project Puffin and the Seabird Restoration Program.
The Audubon Society says, “Known for its graceful flight and elegant plumage, the Common Tern has become a symbol of the conservation movement. It was widely sought for the 19th century millinery trade of feathering ladies hats. Hunting of terns peaked in the 1870s and 1880s, wiping out nearly all of the population on the Atlantic coast. This along with the slaughter of birds such as herons was the impetus for the formation of Audubon societies and other conservation efforts. Today numbers have rebounded and are doing well along the coast. The Common Tern is recognizable by the dark tip on its orange-red bill, as well as its black cap and orange red legs.”