Caspian Terns Saved, Rehabilitated, and Released by International Bird Rescue are Surviving and Breeding

Bird Rescue’s newly published scientific paper detailing the rescue-and-rehabilitation effort of waterbirds highlights a notable success: the post-release survival and breeding of a group of Caspian Terns in Southern California.

The research paper was co-authored by Julie Skoglund, Rebecca Duerr, DVM MPVM PhD, both of International Bird Rescue, and Dr. Charlie Collins, Professor Emeritus at California State University of Long Beach.

The story began in 2006 and 2007 in the Port of Long Beach, one of the busiest shipping ports on the west coast and near a favored breeding colony locale for both Caspian and Elegant Terns in southern California. In both years, disastrous events threatened the lives of tern chicks born in the Port of Long Beach.

In 2006, workers cleaning the deck of a barge deliberately flushed Caspian Tern chicks-too young to survive independently-into the Pacific Ocean. In 2007, suspected human disturbances caused another group of tern chicks to wind up floundering in the water. Fortunately, Bird Rescue was able to rescue some of these young birds and take them into care at its Los Angeles Wildlife Center.

To understand how we solved the challenges of rehabilitating these terns, please read Survival and Recruitment of Rehabilitated Caspian Terns in Southern California.

The final paper was published in the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, May 2020.

Also read: Full research paper blog post and Rare Tern Colony Decimated in Long Beach, CA