The Saturday September 9th visits to Faulkner Island have been cancelled due to small craft warnings. Sunday, September 9, we will be running 7 trips to the island beginning at 8 am until 4 pm. If your trip on Saturday was cancelled, please consider trying for a Sunday visit, as we have added 4 trips to the Sunday schedule. There may be a wait, but you won’t want to miss this once a year opportunity!
V. Koos, O. Bailey, M. Maloney
Well, things are beginning to wind down here on the Falkner Island tern colony. The birds are no longer being aggressive towards us as we go about our business, indicating that the breeding season is drawing to a close. While it is a refreshing change of pace, we will have fond memories of being frantically dive-bombed and defecated upon by protective parent terns.
What a great season we had this year! Most of the chicks have successfully fledged by now although they are still largely dependent on their parents for food. All in all this season we identified 37 roseate nests and had a total of 38 chicks hatch. Olivia was even lucky enough to witness a roseate chick emerge from its egg, and she got it on video! It seems that the roseate terns have gotten a head start on migrating. A couple of weeks ago we were regularly seeing banded roseate fledglings, but recently we have not seen a single one.
Terns were not the only birds breeding out on Falkner this season. Barn swallows, red-winged blackbirds, song sparrows, willets, black ducks, mallards, and herring gulls all found Falkner Island to be a suitable place to breed and raise their young.
Soon all the birds will be departing for more favorable conditions south. We wish them all luck. The Falkner crew
will also be leaving the island soon. Max will be heading back to school for his senior year. Olivia will be traveling to Tern Island in Hawaii to study albatrosses, and Victor will be going to Australia to assist with research on the Superb Fairy-wrens.
Overall we had an amazing summer on Falkner! We would especially like to thank the Faulkner Island Light Brigade for the wireless internet, it was essential in keeping the Falkner Fever at bay. Finally, we’d like to thank Kris Vagos and the rest of the staff at Stewart B. McKinney NWR for making this experience possible. It was a summer that we will all never forget.
Photos courtesty of Victor Koos (FI Crew Member)
Carved tern by avian wood sculpture artist Keith Mueller – Killingworth, CT.
Keith Mueller is a unique and unbelievably talented artist and a life time resident of Connecticut. Mueller has been awarded the celebrated title of World Champion Carver twice, and is only one of a few carvers in the world, to win in more than one division at World Level Competition in the prestigious Ward World Championships. He is also the first and only Carver/Artist to win all three of the hunting decoy divisions at the Ward World Championships.
Mueller holds prestigious titles in both the art and the carving world. He attained the distinguished title of International Woodcarving Champion at the North American Decoy Carving Championship held by the International Woodcarvers Association. He is also a New England Grand Masters Champion as well as a twice-honored “Living Legends” Master folk artist in decoy carving sponsored by the State of Connecticut Endowment for the Arts.
Mueller has always been a believer in supporting his community through conservation groups and wildlife organizations. His educational seminars and displays, as well as his donations of carvings and artwork, are well known throughout New England.
This sculpture is 12 inches long from beak to the tail and is mounted on a wooden stand. The bird is carved from tupelo wood. Tupelo wood is used extensively by artistic woodcarvers, especially for carving ducks and other wildfowl.
Proceeds from the auction will support the basic mission of FLB. -The Faulkner’s Light Brigade continues to work on the historic preservation of the lighthouse, erosion control of the island to protect the lighthouse and preservation of the wildlife habitat.
Here is how it works:
- The bidding starts at $25.00 and the minimum bid is $25.00
- You may place a bid by leaving a comment below with your bid amount
- All comments and bids appear chronologically so you can follow along to make certain you have the winning bid at any time
- The bidding starts August 10th 2012 and closes September 14th at midnight – just 3 days after our Open House
- If you would like to bid anonymously please contact our web master for assistance at email@example.com
This article is excerpted from the Connecticut Wildlife magazine May/June 2012 issue and offered here with permission from DEEP CT Wildlife. “Hanging on with a tenuous connection, this tern has only one regular breeding site in the state which commands special protections to ensure breeding success.” You can read the entire article (PDF format) by clicking on the hyperlink Wide Ranging, Threatened Roseate Tern.