Saturday, August 25, 2012

Breeding Least Terns at Salinas Grandes

On a July 7, 2012, visit to Salinas Grandes (León), Manfred Bienert recorded 51 species, including 17 shorebirds -- an impressive diversity outside of winter and migration months!

Highlights included more than 200 Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), a lone Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens), four Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), single Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) and Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa), both Yellowlegs species (Tringa spp.), and a Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus).

A pair of Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus) -- an adult in breeding plumage and an apparent juvenile -- represent two of the very few records of this species in Nicaragua.

Another highlight of this outing was the presence of 35 Least Terns (Sternula antillarum), noteworthy not only for their presence in July, but also due to Mandred's discovery of two active nests indicating that this species (previously thought to be a passage migrant) is breeding in Nicaragua.

Least Tern nest with eggs