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Matanzas Tern Colony

My Turn with the Terns!

My Turn with the Terns! - June 2016

My first 2016 trip to the Least Tern colony. I hoped for baby terns and got piggy-back rides instead. Read More


Wilson’s Plover Chicks

Wilson’s Plover Chicks - August 2015

Four Wilson's Plover chicks at the Matanzas Tern Colony challenged me to focus as they ran around the beach like little monkeysRead More


Independence Day

Independence Day - August 2015

My last visit to the Least Tern colony, where a fledgling danced every time Mom brought in a fish for breakfast! Read More


Precious Moments with the Least Terns

Precious Moments with the Least Terns - June 2015

A quiet morning of lying on the sand yielded some amazing images of two Least Terns with their day-old chick. He was so cute!Read More


A Least Tern Chick and More Crabs

A Least Tern Chick and More Crabs - June 2015

This weekend's visit to the Least Tern colony yielded four chicks and many crabs. The chick was so small and cute. :)Read More


Lots of Action at the Matanzas Tern Colony!

Lots of Action at the Matanzas Tern Colony! - June 2015

Lots of action at the Matanzas Tern Colony, with Least Tern courtship, fish exchanges, and skirmishes with the predator ghost crabs!Read More


Least Tern Courtship

Least Tern Courtship - May 2015

I made my first visit to the Least Tern colony in early May, and the birds were in full courtship mode. Lots of fish exchanges!Read More


Least Tern Chicks (from June)

Least Tern Chicks (from June) - August 2014

Back in June, I got to photograph tiny newborn Least Tern chicks with their parents. There was such excitement when Dad brought in a fish!Read More


Least Terns in Love

Least Terns in Love - August 2014

I finally got to photograph some Least Tern piggy-back rides this spring!Read More


Least Tern Courtship (from June)

Least Tern Courtship (from June) - August 2014

Back in June, I photographed some fun Least Tern courtship. The male's fish was rejected by his unfeeling prospective suitor!Read More


Wilson’s Plover Nest

Wilson’s Plover Nest - June 2013

On the morning that I photographed sunrise at Washington Oaks, I also made a stop at the Matanzas Tern Colony. In previous years, I've spent some very special mornings lying on the sand, watching the Least Terns and their tiny chicks. I was a little worried that the birds would find a new nesting site after their colony was devastated by Tropical Storm Beryl last year. But they came back! …Read More


“Learn and Help”

“Learn and Help” - July 2012

I was pleased to donate the use of one of my photographs to American Bird Conservancy's Help Gulf Birds website aimed at protecting shorebirds on Florida's coasts. Check it out!


Gather Ye Tern Chicks While Ye May…

Gather Ye Tern Chicks While Ye May… - May 2012

Last Saturday I had the privilege of photographing the Least Tern Colony near Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine.  The Least Terns are the smallest terns in their family, and each year they come to St. Augustine in the spring to lay their eggs and raise their families.  Their nests are nothing more than tiny indentations in the sand, and the local Audubon groups monitor the colony nesting site and provide …Read More


No Vacancies!

No Vacancies! - May 2012

I'm still going through my images from Saturday morning at the Fort Matanzas tern colony.  There was a nest that was very very close to us, and it was incredible!  So I'll have a full post tomorrow, and until then, here's a teaser…no vacancies!


Least Tern Courtship

Least Tern Courtship - May 2012

Ever since my terrific morning photographing the Least Terns at Fort Matanzas last spring, I've been counting the days until their return. I couldn't wait to have more opportunities to photograph these little birds. They return to Florida in the last few weeks of April and begin their courtship behaviors immediately. Their nests are tiny indentures in the sand, and their babies will hatch in late May to early June. …Read More


Somewhere over the Rainbow…Least Terns Fly!

Somewhere over the Rainbow…Least Terns Fly! - June 2011

I went back to the Least Tern Colony at Summer Haven this morning.  My friend Michael Libbe came with me, and we had high hopes for a sunny morning and nice close nests.  Instead we got fog, a slight drizzle, and not-so-cooperative birds.  The nests that were close to the edge of the roped-off area were not there this time.  Probably some of the chicks have fledged, and the birds …Read More


Cute Baby Birds at the Summer Haven Least Tern Colony are Totally Worth the Drive!

Cute Baby Birds at the Summer Haven Least Tern Colony are Totally Worth the Drive! - June 2011

Rich thought I was insane when I woke up at 4am on my off-Friday and drove up to St. Augustine.  He thought I was even crazier when he heard me describe how I lowered the tripod and lay flat on my stomach to photograph the birds.  But look at the results…. :-D The Least Terns come to nest at St. Augustine each year.  Last week I drove up to Matanzas …Read More


A Preview of Coming Distractions…Summer Haven Tern Colony

A Preview of Coming Distractions…Summer Haven Tern Colony - June 2011

I found the Matanzas terns! They have moved south to Summer Haven. (Thanks Monique!) I spent a great morning at the colony this morning. I have so many fun pictures that I can't finish the post tonight, so here's a tease. Check back tomorrow for more!!


Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet

Tern Colony at Matanzas Inlet - May 2011

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 …Read More