Ringing of Chicks of Common Terns at the Ferencmajor fishponds

As a result of an agreement between local nature conservation authorities and the fishpond management, a small island was created this spring for Common Terns and other ground breeding waterbirds to breed. As I reported time by time a pair of Pied Avocet, more than 70 pairs of Common Tern and two Little Ringed Plover utilized the ideal nesting habitat.

Today the members of our local birding society came together to catch and ring Common Tern chicks. We had to organise the action properly as the extreme hot weather forced us to leave the island within 20-30 minutes to avoid eggs’ and chicks’ overheating. We did a great job! 46 Common Tern chicks of various ages have been caught. At least 20 paris are still incubating while others already have fledged young.

Just before the action I counted the birds which was present on the island. The result is as follows:

Greylag Goose 300
Eurasian Spoonbill 24
Northern Lapwing 34
Pied Avocet 1 ad + 1 pull
Little Ringed Plover 6
Common Redshank 1
Common Greenshank 4
Wood Sandpiper 6
Green Sandpiper 2
Common Sandpiper 1
Ruff 6
Black-headed Gull 35
Common Tern about 110
Whiskered Tern 4
Black Tern 3


Atypical Common Tern nest with differently coloured eggs probably coming from two different females. © György Szimuly 


Typical Common Tern nest decorated by a lot of pieces of lime stone. © György Szimuly


Nest, decorated by pieces of pond mussel-shells, small stones and fish bones, of the second pair of Little Ringed Plover. © György Szimuly


Freshly hatched Common Tern chick in the nest. © György Szimuly


Dani caught a larger chick. © György Szimuly


Sandra is taking care of two chicks ready for release. © György Szimuly


The ringing itself, performed by two ringing experts of our local team. © György Szimuly

Chicks of the Pied Avocet pair have partly survived. Today we saw only one pullus. A few days ago there were three chicks counted. On the island we also found a failed egg of the same pair.

At least one bird of the Eurasian Spoonbill flock was carrying a white plastic ring with possibly black codes. Due to the lack of spotting scope I could not read the code. Maybe it stays here for a few days.


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