Recently we told you about a Common Tern nest that had an American Oystercatcher egg in it out on Falkner Island. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had sent us the information and was monitoring the situation. You can see that blog entry by clicking here. The Common Tern female was incubating both her own three eggs plus the other Oystercatcher egg. We did not know what would come of the odd situation, but we have some answers now.
As of the last update from Wildlife Biologist Kristina Vagos, two of the three Common Tern eggs have hatched. Unfortunately, one of these chicks died, likely from ants. Most significantly, yes, the American Oystercatcher chick hatched! Here it is in the hand of one of their staff.
Having just occurred we do not yet know what will ultimately happen to it, but USFWS will keep us updated to see if the Common Tern mother raises this chick. Take a look at both chicks in another photo from USFWS.
Apparently this has happened before according to a note that Jeff Spendelow sent to Kris, with a Common Tern taking over an American Oystercatcher nest on Falkner in 1992. That egg never hatched, though. By the next update we should have an idea of whether or not mom will try to bring up the young Oystercatcher as one of her own...
Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.