15-year-old Banded Caspian Tern - Alameda


On August 10th I photographed a banded Caspian Tern feeding in the waters of Seaplane Lagoon at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

I sent this photo to the USGS Bird Banding Lab who in turn sent it to the Oregon State University Caspian Tern Banding Project. Kirsten Bixler identified it as being banded as a chick on East Sand Island in the Columbia River Estuary in 2003! Amazing! It's now 15 years old. The oldest longevity record I found for a CATE in the wild for the USA is 25 years. I had no idea they could leave that long.

I think it was probably also nesting in the nearby Caspian Tern colony in the Alameda Wildlife Refuge (also part of the old NAS).



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