11 June 2012

Roseate Terns in Marathon, FL

Every summer I like to head down to the Keys and see the Florida summer specialties.  This year Andy, Rosana, EmilyLark, and myself took the road trip down to Marathon, FL.  We promptly found a large number of Roseate Terns on top of the Marathon Government Building.  I've seen the terns here before in past summers but this was by far the largest number of terns in my personal record.  There was easily over a hundred of them.  We also had Least Terns flying around as well for good comparison.

After the tern show we checked into our little motel, The Sandpiper, which gives a great nightly rate.  Once settled we headed out again to the Marathon Airport for the afternoon nighthawk watch.  This one did not disappoint.  We had both Antillean and Common Nighthawks calling and diving.  We celebrated the day with some fun drinks watching the sun go down by 7-mile bridge. 

Summertime birding in South Florida is not glamorous.  It's hot, the humidity will soak your t-shirt, mosquitoes will carry you away, and biting flies will dive-bomb your head but if you're willing to brave the conditions there are some nice rewards out there like Roseate Terns, Antillean Nighthawks, Black-whiskered Vireos, Mangrove Cuckoos and Yellow Warblers.  The point of the story is, you won't see anything if you don't get out there.       

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