Last year and this year I have seen a number of Royal Terns in Brooklyn banded with field-readable bands -- six this summer and early fall alone. They have all been juveniles banded a month or two before I saw them, all from one of two colonies in Virginia, either near Chincoteague or Hampton City. Based on their behavior with the other terns around them, it seems clear they are traveling with a parent or both parents. It is impossible to know the origin of all the birds without field-readable bands, of course, but it seems likely that many or most of the Royal Terns that appear on Long Island in late summer are coming north from Virginia in search of bait fish after their breeding season is over.
Others may have reached the same conclusion independently a long time before me. Best, Joshua Malbin -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --