Colonial Nesting Shorebirds

No, they're not related to the Pilgrims. Colonial nesting birds are birds that nest in large groups, or colonies, where the nests are built close to one another.

These videos explore the nesting habitat and habits of eastern brown pelicans, royal terns, and sandwich terns--three of the species of colonial nesting birds which can be found in and around Cape Lookout National Seashore.


Colonial Nesting Bird Vocabulary

Dredge - removing the sand from an underwater area that is used as a channel, or water highway, by boats. It is also a name for the boats which remove the sand from a channel.

Dredge Spoil Island - an island created by the dredge boats pumping the sand out of a channel.

Incubating - sitting on the eggs to keep them at the right temperature for the chicks inside to survive.

Scrape - indention in the sand made by certain birds to be used as nests.

Clutch - group of eggs in a nest.

Crèche - group of chicks which huddle and move together for protection.

Nestling - a chick which still lives in its parents' nest.

Fledge - when a chick becomes able to fly.

Last updated: February 4, 2021

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