|Photo Credit: Leann Schroller|
Royal tern baby and many other birds that made it worth the trip.)
Sooty terns are true seabirds, wandering the tropical oceans and nesting on islands (unlike most other terns that live in marshes and along seashores). It is largely pelagic, meaning it lives at sea, and comes ashore only to breed. According to eBird, this month the only sightings for a Sooty tern were in the Rockport area and in Florida. It's difficult to know what brings a vagrant to town. Weather disturbances and winds may blow the bird off course, a bird may hitchhike on a ship or boat, or scientists think some may just like to wander, possibly following food sources. Whatever the reason they come, the vagrants bring even more birders to our already very birdy community. Like other tourists, they don't stay long. - Jeanette Larson
Jeanette is a retired librarian and author. She and her husband, retired architect and artist Jim Larson, moved to Rockport several years ago for the birds, the beach, and the coastal community.