During our little mini vacation down in San Jose Del Cabo, over the weekend, I was truly surprised to find a Federally Protected Least Tern nesting site. These very small terns, will build their nest right out in the open, on the sand. This makes them quite vulnerable to predators and other disruptive problems, especially on the white sandy beaches of Cabo, and San Jose Del Cabo.
While not really in a fully threatened state, with a large part of the population that can be so effected by a single event, there is some concern for this birds long term status. Even something as simple as what I witnessed while I was there, a local who let his two pit bulls run freely amongst the nests, driving all the parents away. I was able to call the dogs off the protected area, with what appears to no damage, though I do not know if they stepped on any of the nests.
The parents will take turns sitting on the nest, and feeding while not sitting. I did witness a bird bring in some small minnows and feed them to the other mate who was sitting on the nest.
These beautiful little terns zip around the beach, playing on the warm ocean breezes, in an almost playful manner. They chase each other, dive down to catch a fish or two for food, and then back to the nest for their turn sitting. It was such a joy watching them, I hope they all are successful in this years nesting season!