Roving Reporter | "Royal Baby" | Text and Photos by Jeanette Larson

"At least one royal tern chick is thriving at Rockport Beach. The parents and other adults can be seen zealously guarding the chick by surrounding it and its shallow depression. They are defending the baby from the  laughing gulls, who hang around nearby. Gulls are predatory and would gladly steal the chick. Chicks begin to fly at about 4-5 weeks so we should see this guy or gal flapping wings soon. Unfortunately, observers noted that another chick died shortly after hatching. Because the female lays a single egg, survival is cause for great celebration. The chick will stay with its parents for about eight months, migrating south with them." - Jeanette Larson

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