April - month of the sandwich tern

April - month of the sandwich tern

Hello, friends!

After we bade farewell to March, which was dedicated to the bearded vulture - a symbol of the Bulgarian conservation, we turn our attention to the heroes, coming back from a long journey.
And we are dedicating April to the sandwich tern - a rare species, Green Balkans is dedicated to preserving.

The Green Balkans conservation efforts for protecting the sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) date back to 1996 when there were only 6 pairs in the Pomorie hypersaline lagoon. Experts and volunteers from the organization start organizing work brigades to build artificial islands on which the lake birds may safely nest. As a result of their efforts in 2009 around 1 500 pairs are nesting on the new islands!
This new colony is a direct result of the conservation actions of the organization and is in fact one of the biggest colonies of the species in Southeast Europe. It is one of the main attractions to tourist and ornithologists visiting the Pomorie lake.

Here is some additional information about the species:
Description: The adult has pale grey back and upperwing, whereas the rump and forked tail are white. The underparts are white, often with weak pink tinge. On the head, the crown is black with shaggy crest. Head sides, chin and throat are white.
Biology: The species inhabits hypersaline lakes and diverse wetlands mainly on the sea coast. It breeds on low-lying inshore islands, on undisturbed beaches without vegetation, or on gravelly, muddy or bare substrate. It nests along with the common tern, the gull-billed tern, the little tern, the mediterranean gull and the pied avocet. The female lays 1 to 2 eggs at the end of May, the beginning of June. The species feeds on small fish. It forages actively by diving in from height (up to 10 metres) with a loud splash.

At present, the species nests at the Pomorie lake with a maximum of 1310 pairs and at the Atanasovo lake where the numbers are considerably lower.

How to help:
• Take part in the monitoring and mapping of the nesting habitats of the sandwich tern.
• Participating in bird ringing activities
• Signal for illegal activities within the species habitats.
• Take part in some of the information activities for the species promotion.
• Donate for the species protection activities. Check out the Donations section on our website.