Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet

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I’d heard about a Least Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet.  It’s the biggest in Florida, numbering up to 200 nests (and yay for Audubon’s success in closing the beach to vehicles that were running over the nests and chicks!!)

Since I was in the neighborhood this morning, I stopped by to check it out.  Except there wasn’t much to see!  The nesting zone is up in the dunes, and it is roped off so that people can’t inadventently step on the birds.  Their nests are just little hollows in the sand, easily missed by even the most careful people.  I was careful not to get too close, since disturbing the adults in late-morning heat can be detrimental to the eggs.  But all I could find were two nests.  It was a little disappointing.

Least Tern on Nest

Least Tern on Nest

I did get a consolation prize, though.  There was a Wilson’s Plover with three tiny fuzzballs–I mean, three tiny chicks.  They ran up and down the beach very quickly on those tiny legs.  They were hard to catch with the camera!  I was hand-holding the Beast, too.  But I got one decent shot.

Wilson's Plover chick

Wilson's Plover chick


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2 thoughts on “Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet

  1. Great pictures! Good catch of the Wilson’s Plover chick as these little fellows can run.
    The Least Tern colony has moved to Summer Haven, half a mile south. Over 100 nests and over 30 chicks. Enjoy watching them but give them some extra room as some nests are close to the rope.

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