The Little Tern, the smallest and rarest of Hinchinbrook's Terns, has returned to raise its young, and they will be frequenting our beaches until the new year.
These birds nest on the sand above the high tide mark, their tiny eggs camouflaged among the sand and shells. This is a good strategy against natural predators but means it is very easy for a vehicle, dog or even a walker to accidentally crush their eggs and chicks.
If you see adult Little Terns fly up from the sand, please watch your feet and try to walk on the harder sand below the high tide mark.
Please leave the area quickly so they can get back to protecting the colony from predators.
Little Tern forage where the river meets the ocean, diving vertically to catch tiny fish. They are white and grey with a black cap and a yellow bill.
This is the same plumage as the common and familiar Crested Tern, which is in the Hinchinbrook area all year round and is about the size of a Silver Gull. Little Terns can be picked out by their small size, they are dwarfed by gulls and Crested Terns and are about one-fifth the weight.
Image: Hinchinbrook's Rarest Little Tern.