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Tern Raft

Audubon LogoMaryland Coastal Bays LogoMd Dept. Of Natural Resources Logo

Nesting Platform Initiative for Endangered Birds in Maryland

The partnership of Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Audubon Mid-Atlantic, and Maryland Coastal Bays Program is continuing an innovative conservation project to preserve three of Maryland’s state listed endangered colonial nesting waterbirds – the Common Tern, Royal Tern, and Black Skimmer.

The project is providing a floating wooden-framed platform as a nesting site for endangered colonial waterbirds, which have declined by a staggering 90-95% since the mid-1980s due to sea level rise and the erosion of their natural barren sand nesting islands in the coastal bays. The initial year of the project was an immediate success. The platform was successfully used for nesting by 23 pairs of Common Terns, making it the largest breeding colony of this species in the Coastal Bays in 2021.

In 2022, we ended the season with 155 Common Tern nests, a total of 181 chicks banded, 91 adults banded, and at least 140 fledglings. Plus 1 American Oystercatcher nest with 1 fledgling. That’s at least 140 new Common Terns added to the population, which for a bird with a declining population is a very nice boost!

Check out our blog on the project updates!

Nesting Platform in the News:

Threatened Seabirds Get a Life Raft in Maryland | Hakai Magazine

Beach Loving Birds Get Help with Real Estate

Outdoors Maryland – Terrapins and Tern Raft (tern raft begins at 14 minutes into the clip)

Hail Mary for Maryland Shorebirds Pays Off

Floating Island Project Aims to Restore Bird Habitats

Contribute Online

Become a member of the Coastal Bays Foundation and donate online securely through PayPal. Your financial contribution will go toward protecting our watershed, its habitat, and wildlife. The Maryland Coastal Bays Program Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; all donations are tax deductible.