Protocol for counting, marking and recapturing terns
Most colonies of terns in the Northern Bahamas have a few dozen pairs. We will count all the nests wherever possible. If we encounter a colony of thousands, we will use circular plots to estimate nesting density as in our Cay Sal project.
Once captured, birds will be weighed, measured, sampled for isotopes and DNA, banded and released. Samples will be stored at a suitable location and analyzed when sufficient data are available.
Recaptures will be optained by sightings from scientists and birdwatchers both during future Conservian surveys and by others. We will communicate with the public through our partners to encourage reporting of sightings.
Analysis will occur using Program Mark's multistate model package.