As terns complete their nesting effort or suffer failure, they are no longer tied to a specific area around a colony. For Caspian terns in the Pacific Flyway, they typically disperse away from the breeding colony and wander the breeding range. Often these post-breeding dispersals are to the Salish Sea, which is northward from where most birds nest. These dispersals allow birds to utilize profitable foraging areas prior to migration, and to check out the status of other colonies for possible future use. As of late June, we are seeing F367 conduct dispersal trips to the Salish Sea.

We may be seeing a somewhat different behavior from A765. On 24 June, this individual moved south from the Columbia River estuary. We’ll see if that is a sustained direction of movement, but that individual may be starting his southward migration for the season!

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