Ascension : Conservation Weekly
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 27.01.2011 (Article Archived on 10.02.2011)
This is a small, delicately-built, pure white seabird with a finely-pointed black bill and rings of black feather around the eyes, giving a large-eyed appearance.
Ascension Island Conservation Department
This is a small, delicately-built, pure white seabird with a finely-pointed black bill and rings of black feather around the eyes, giving a large-eyed appearance. Juveniles are creamier in colour and have dull brown edges to the feathers of the upper-parts.
They like to feed on a variety of small fish, which they catch using a dipping technique similar to that of noddies. Fish are carried whole to chicks rather than regurgitated. Most fairy terns stay close to the islands throughout the year. Before nesting, pairs can often be seen performing closely synchronised aerobatics, which are part of the courtship ritual.
The Fairy Tern breeds all year round. They are common on both St Helena and Ascension Island. The single egg is laid in a hollow on a bare branch or rock ledge and is pale grey or buff with dark streaking and speckling. The fairy tern is one of the few tree-nesting birds that make no nest. Both parents share incubation, which last around 36 days. Their chicks fledge when around seven weeks old. The recommended sites on the island to see these beautiful birds are Georgetown Anchorage, Green Mountain and the area around White Horse Hill, above Spire Beach.
Fairy Terns are remarkably tame and inquisitive. They will often hover within a metre of a person out of curiosity.
We are looking for used drink cans (not crushed) for our endemic plants. If anyone is able to save cans please let us know so we can collect them. Or you can drop them off at the Conservation Office in Georgetown. Thank you.
Tours to see the turtles are run by the Ascension Island Turtle Group throughout the nesting season and are the best way to see nesting turtles. Please visit the Conservation Centre for more information.
We would like to remind anyone using beach huts that vehicles should not be driven on to the beach. Please could all rubbish be left in the bins provided. Thank you for your cooperation.
Volunteers welcome. Please contact Olivia Renshaw or Natasha Williams. Tel: 6359. Email: email@example.com