Rare marine birds of Europe

Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) is a seabird of the family Sternidae. Rose adjective refers to the color of feathers on the chest is pink, this color is due to the diet based on crustaceans and small fish.
It is a bird which meets in the summer on the coast of the Atlantic and spends winter in the Caribbean or the west coast of Africa.

Roseate Tern
Roseate Tern
Roseate Tern_
Roseate Tern_

Roseate Tern nests on beaches or rocks near shore. Colonia I managed to photograph, near to Sao Roque do Pico, is located on a rock near the shore, unapproachable without climbing equipment.

Sterna dougallii_colonia
Sterna dougallii_colonia

Thanks to M.ZUIKO 70-300mm lens which allowed me to get close to colony. Although not a recommended lens to photograph wild birds, focal length allowed me taking photos of wildlife and portrait.

Sterna dougallii_2
Sterna dougallii_2
Sterna dougallii_1
Sterna dougallii_1

Sterna dougallii populations are still in a permanent decline of the last century when they were hunted for their feathers widely. Since 1987 became a protected species, even that, their decline continues.
Shoreline nesting in the area are disturbed by the noises of human activities and the birds tend to leave their nests and eggs if they find threatening environment. Also they have some natural predators such as gulls, foxes, owls, etc.
Azores is a reference place in the lives of these birds, where are quite common, however, we talking about one of the rarest birds in Europe.
A special fact, what I learned from locals who were fishing on the shore, near the colony, the male roseate tern often courts a female by flying overhead in circles with a fish in his bill! S.dougallii are particularly noisy and pursue each other in order to steal the loot.

Sterna dougallii_4
Sterna dougallii_4
Sterna dougallii_5
Sterna dougallii_5

Locating this particular bird colonies and congestion on a piece of rock are an attraction for visitors to the area.
On shore, I had the surprise to glimpse a few shots of lizards, who had gathered in a garbage box near the beach. Very brave lizards were checking each item in the garbage, looking for food.

Lizard_1
Lizard_1
Lizard_3
Lizard_3
Lizard_2
Lizard_2

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