Failure of Forsters Tern Colony Hayward Marsh

Jim Chiropolos

In the summer one of the high points of Alameda county birding was enjoying the breeding tern colony by the Hayward interpretive center by the San Mateo bridge. In past years in this area, a constant stream of Forsters and Least Terns would be crossing to the bay calling and bringing fish back to the colony. Unfortunately, the Forsters colony, in previous years maybe 200 terns or more in size has apparently failed. In three visits, I have not seen a single Forsters. The Least Tern colony is present but seems reduced in numbers. Sad.

1. Does anyone know why this failure has occurred- it may be the only breeding Forsters tern site in the east bay.
2.Did the terns relocate to new location maybe across the bay?
3. What can Hayward Marsh do to reattract Forsters Terns to this site next year?
4. Is the Least Tern colony less viable without the Forsters? Ravens and Harriers are patrolling this area. (Are ravens more common on the bay now - I think so)
5. Who is monitoring this colony? Can you contact me.

Hopefully- there are steps we can do to help this colony breeding location next year.

Finally, shorebirds are returning.

Jim Chiropolos