CO.BRA / INAU´s Nesting Colony Study at Rio Cuiaba, Northern Pantanal
Shorebirds like terns and the skimmer occur on the open ocean and along coastal beaches. In South America they are frequently seen inland along rivers and large lakes where they feed on fish and small aquatic invertebrates. In the Pantanal the Yellow-billed Tern (Sternula superciliaris) and the Large-billed Tern (Phaetusa simplex) are permanent residents, frequently seen jointly roosting in flocks on river sand bars or found brooding in mixed colonies together with the bizarre gull-like Black Skimmer (Rychops nigra). In the northern Pantanal the three species breed between June / July to September, depending on the annual inundation regime, at traditional nest sites. For our study on the reproductive biology of the two tern species and the skimmer we chose one of the smallest known colonies on an easy accessible sand bar in the Cuiaba River. The headquarter of our waterbird monitoring team is a houseboat (see photo) from where the colony can be reached within minutes. Presently the egg brooding activities are still ongoing but a few young already hatched (see photos below). Frequent updates of this study will be published at this news section.
Photos: Impressions from our Rio Cuiaba (northern Pantanal) study site. A. Our idyllic houseboat with the inspiring name “Felicidade“ (“Happiness“) is the temporal home of our waterbird study group. B. Rhynchops niger, parents attending and feeding young; C. Sternula superciliaris with young; D. Phaetusa simplex, brooding; E. Phaetusa simplex, nest with clutch. © CO.BRA / INAU