For many years, I have missed the superman celebration which occurs in Metropolis, IL each June. For one reason or the other, there has been something that kept me from going. This year; I found a way to attend the event in coordination with our research on least terns. It was as much fun as I hoped and it yielded a few interesting pictures. I hope in future years to be able to attend more than one evening, but for now one evening was great. These are a few shots from that evening.
My favorite project each season is my work with Interior least terns. They are an Endangered subspecies of terns which nest on Mississippi River and Ohio River islands in western portions of Kentucky. They are the only endangered species of bird which nests in Kentucky. My work mainly involves protecting nesting sites where these birds nest. Changes in flooding regimes of rivers have reduced the number of nesting sites available. There are generally only a couple sites in Kentucky active each year. Protection of these sites is critical to the survival of the species. In addition to posting and protecting sites, we monitor nesting success of birds on these sites. Flooding is the primary cause of nest lost, but some nests are lost to predators and disturbance. These are a few pictures from a morning at one of our colonies just a few days after the colony initiated.