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Least Terns have Returned!

Celebrate the return of our local engangered species, the California least tern, and learn about their annual migration and nesting colony.

The longer days have triggered the seasonal return of California least terns to their nesting grounds at Alameda Point. Hovering above the Bay like little kites, their acrobatics end in headlong dives for fresh fish. Once on the brink of extinction, their population has been rebounding with the protection of their nesting grounds all along the California coast, with Alameda Point having the largest nesting colony in Northern California.  Find out more in my KQED QUEST blog.

To register for a space on one of the June 16 EBRPD tours of the least tern colony, visit www.EBparksOnline.org or call (888) 327-2757.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joyce Mercado June 05, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Sharol, For the tours I saw that you catch a bus from Crab Cove to get to Alameda Point. Then does everyone stay on the bus or is there a nice walk involved? How long does a tour typically last start to finish? Thanks for posting this story! Joyce Mercado
Sharol Nelson-Embry June 05, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Great question, Joyce! The bus serves as an observation blind for participants and we're required to stay on it for the duration of our visit to the colony so we don't disturb the nesting activities. There are plenty of opportunities before and after the one-hour bus trip to walk around Crab Cove on the Bay Trail observing the tern fishing acitivities and at 2:30 there will be a guided walk to watch for them along the trail. There's also a free slide show folks can watch before or after the bus tour in the Visitor Center. Space is limited on the buses, so sign up soon to reserve your spot! Thanks!
Joyce Mercado June 05, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Thanks Sharol!
alameda vigilante June 07, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I've been trying to sign up for this tour since you posted this. The link to the EBRPD website is useless-nothing about least terns is visible there and you can't enter a search term in the search box-you have to know the Number of the event!? I missed it last year for lousy noticing also. How do I sign up, what time do I have to be there to get on the bus, exactly where do I go to catch the bus??? Please stop keeping this such a secret.
Sharol Nelson-Embry June 07, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Hi Alameda Vigilante, You can register either online at www.ebparks.org/activities or call (888) 327-2757, option 2. The buses depart Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda at 11am (Course #28954), Noon (Course #28955) and 1pm (Course #28956). The 11am and 1pm buses are nearly full, but there are still plenty of spaces on the noon bus (as of 11:30 Thurs., 6/7/12). Glad you're excited about seeing least terns and hope you can join us this year!

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