Sandwich Terns from the Dutch Delta
Sandwich Terns are one of the iconic breeding birds of the Dutch coastal zone. The largest numbers are present roughly between april and september, although a small number winters in the Netherlands. Additionally also large numbers of Sandwich Terns from other European colonies use Dutch waters during the migratory season. In this period Sandwich Terns can be found far offshore as well. Since the last major population crash in the 1960s numbers are steadily increasing in the Netherlands, and currently numbers are stable although still only half of the figures present between 1930 and 1960.
Since 2010 a small group of volunteers (joint in the Ringgroep Delta) colourringed nearly 3000 juvenile and adult Sandwich Terns in three colonies in the Dutch Delta. The majority of these people are working at Bureau Waardenburg (Culemborg), the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (Brussel), Delta Project Management (Vlissingen). Main aim of this project is to study dispersion and prospecting behaviour as well as site fidelity and survival. Secondary aims is to collect information on migration ecology, stop-over site and wintering areas.
Over the years we collected many sightings from northern Scotland to the Eastern Cape, South Africa, as well as from the Mediterranean, but we hope to collect many more sightings. And we hope that all of you will check the legs of each Sandwich Tern you will encounter in the future. Hopefully you will submit your sightings to this portal! All of our rings are 3-digit alpha-numerically coded (or 3 digits and a ‘.’ (point)) and either blue, white, yellow and lime, starting with either ’N’, ‘H’, or ‘2’.
More infomation can be obtained by contacting project coordinator Ruben Fijn.