Photo Gallery Coming Soon. See TernCam 2010 Gallery below.
The solar powered video camera, with wireless internet connection, was placed near an Interior Least Tern (Sternula antillarum athalassos) nest in early June 2012. The nest the camera is focused on is one of seven at the site. The eggs in the TernCam nest were laid during the first week of June and should be hatching very soon. There is one Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) nest located nearby. One of the adult plovers associated with that nest was color banded along the Missouri River near Gavin's Point Dam a couple of years ago.
Keep a close eye on the adult terns' legs. One of them is wearing colored leg bands. As we learn more about this bird's history, we'll be sure to pass it along to you.
TernCam is the brainchild of Ben Wheeler, who monitors Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers in the Loup River area around Ord, Nebraska. Ben is a Coordinating Wildlife Biologist with Pheasants Forever and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The Story So Far...
As expected, the TernCam nest hatched successfully. After hatching, least terns only hang around the nest cup for a little while. They grow rapidly and soon are large enough that their parents cannot house them under their wings any longer. It only take a couple days and the chicks are strong enough to hop to shade under some vegetation. The parents will keep caring for the chicks until they are ready to fly and feed themselves.
In the meantime, stay tuned to the TernCam website. Often, least terns that lose their nest early will make a second nest attempt. We are hopeful that another nest will be initiated in the area and we can use the TernCam to share another central Nebraska moment with you in the near future.
A video camera was placed near an Interior Least Tern nest in June and July of 2010. Three young terns hatched and were captured on still images via the TernCam. The remote camera was approximately 60-65 feet from the nest. It was powered by a solar panel and used a wireless internet connection. The TernCam started as an idea of Ben Wheeler, who monitors Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers in the Loup River area around Ord, Nebraska.