Thank you for informing us about this topic. I certainly agree with Dave &
Scott and hope that the management of Young Island would include minimal
disturbance on the island in order to allow the Caspian Terns to continue their
breeding attempts. Not knowing a lot about nesting habitat management, I wonder if
those of you that do know might be able to educate us a little more about how
spp like gulls and cormorants co-exist with terns. I am aware that on Young
Island the cormorant population has been almost eliminated and that the
Ring-billed Gulls are at far lower numbers now that landfills are closed. Perhaps
these lower numbers would allow the gulls to nest along with the terns. I am sure
that human disturbances on the island, such as shooting gulls and planting
trees, could be a big disturbance to the Caspian Terns.
I for one, would appreciate more information about all this. And if there is
a way the public could have a say about the Island's management policies, I
would be interested in knowing how to go about that as well.
Liz Alton, Georgia, VT
In a message dated 5/15/08 5:39:18 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:
> Dave and fellow birders,
> That's fascinating that Caspian Terns may be starting to breed on Young
> Island in Lake Champlain. This sighting underscores the role of Young Island
> as one of the foremost nesting islands in Vermont for waterbirds -- it's
> been designated only one of 21 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the state on
> that basis. So I was surprised to learn that the Vermont Department of Fish
> and Wildlife has recently developed a plan to substantially reduce waterbird
> populations on the island by egg oiling and shooting, as alluded to in
> Dave's message. Apparently the objective is to grow trees on the island.
> While trees have the potential to benefit nesting birds like herons,
> destroying thousands of gull nests and shooting adults seems to be a drastic
> reaction that hasn't been well thought-through. Are many other birders aware
> of these activities? If enough people in the birding community share
> concerns about this, perhaps we can persuade the state to pursue more
> reasonable alternatives.
> Scott Schwenk
> [log in to unmask]
> South Burlington
> On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 11:41 AM, David Capen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Caspian terns have been frequenting Young Island, in Grand Isle, recently.
> > On Monday, I watched from a blind on the island as a pair courted and
> > making a nest scrape. Caspians nested on Young Island initially in 2000,
> > but have not been observed on a nest since 2003. Let's hope the repeated
> > disturbances from the Fish and Wildlife Department's management of
> > cormorants and gulls, and their planting of trees on the island, don't
> > disrupt nesting by this species.
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