florida, birds, bird banding, terns, dry tortugas, florida

Bird Banding in the Dry Tortugas

Every year I help organize a trip for students to visit the Dry Tortugas National Park, a small island chain west of the Florida Keys. We spend a week camped on the beach, banding and releasing sooty terns as part of an ongoing effort since 1937.  These data allow me to help answer questions about population dynamics, survival rates, impacts of hurricanes, and more. As the sun rose, I was able to capture the chaos of a seabird breeding colony, while one of the students waits to catch a tern with his net.

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