A Common Tern Tending Her Nest

Thursday, June 11, 2020,

This is a series of photos of a Common Tern tending to her nest. Terns, like many other shorebirds, make very simple nests. Most are usually just shallow scrapes in the sand. Terns depend more on their cryptically colored eggs than on fancy digs to conceal their location.

This Tern, however, fancies herself a bit of a Martha Stewart. She’s already laid her two eggs but now she’s redecorating. A little extra sand, perhaps a stick or two, and the place is really starting to shape up.

Take note of the skate egg case in the foreground. It’s that small black pouch with “horns” at either end. Some folks refer to them as Mermaid Purses. They’re actually the egg cases to certain species of sharks and rays. But today, it’s about to become a bit of home decor.

Check out where that Mermaid’s Purse has ended up. If you click on the above photo for a larger view, you may notice one of it’s “horns” sticking up in front of the eggs. A beautiful finishing touch, don’t you think? And now, it’s time for a rest.  JK




6 thoughts on “A Common Tern Tending Her Nest

  1. I like her style!
    And maybe the ray egg is there so that if a predator comes, it will choose that one rather than one of her own. Could be a clever tern!

  2. You could be right right Michele but I think that most of the skate egg cases that wash up on shore are already empty. At least, I hope so. Myself, I think Mamma Tern is using it as a throw cushion. 🙂 JK.

  3. Well….it does make a nice decorative accent. But it could be that predators wouldn’t know it is empty too. She may be clever with decorative flair! 😉

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