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South San Diego Bay nesting update 5-14-22

South San Diego Bay nesting update 5-14-22
By – 8:58 am
I received a couple questions this week so thought it may be worthwhile posting an update on waterbird nesting status in South San Diego Bay. At least at the sites I’m involved at, snowy plover numbers appear average to slightly below average, with success so far limited at least in part to predation. Stilt and avocet nest numbers appear below average.  Although numbers appear to have picked up at some sites yesterday, conferring with other monitors, least tern numbers remain low at all sites around San Diego and Mission Bays, nest initiations delayed, nest numbers low, and colony attendance low, suggesting issues with local prey fish availability. Forster’s tern numbers appear low and they are just beginning to initiate nests.Elegant tern numbers fluctuated widely early in the season, nest initiation was delayed, but over the past couple weeks adult numbers established above average and over 17220 nests were documented this week in South SD Bay.Royal terns appear possibly heading toward another record-breaking year with over 500 nests already established.Caspian tern numbers are notably low and nesting has been delayed and is just beginning with only 2 nests as of this past week.Gull-billed terns were also delayed in initiating nests, but are up to 30 nests this week in South SD Bay, and at least 1 to 2 pairs continue to be seen regularly in the Mission Bay/Robb Field area.Double-crested cormorant nest numbers in South SD Bay are well below average at only 29, but some are still under construction.For at least the 4th year now, a Canada goose pair is also nesting in South Bay.  At least 15 osprey nests have been established in the east and south bay, with most in the National City Marine Terminal area, most currently with chicks on the verge of fledging, but the earliest nests have already fledged young and the latest nests still have small to medium chicks.Robert PattonSan Diego, CA