The Swift Tern: A winning species?

18 Apr 2013 - 13:15

Swift terns are one of the few seabirds species that have increased in number in the last decade, three other seabird species foraging on the same prey resources having decreased. We are studying the southern African Swift Tern (Thalasseus bergii) population to better understand the link between population dynamics, foraging behaviour and food abundance and distribution of this species (see:here)

During April 2013 we will be ringing ca. 500 chicks on Robben Island with inscribed colour and metal rings in order to understand changes in population numbers. With your help, we will be able to estimate survival, dispersal and movement patterns in this species. Any reports from inside and outside South Africa of colour-ringed swift terns (dead or alive) are crucial to this program and to the conservation of seabirds. If you are able to help, please reply or report any ringed bird to our team at:

In your report please note:

  1. Location of birds as accurately as possible (GPS if possible
  2. Date and time of sighting
  3. Colour of the ring
  4. Characters on the ring, e.g. A7 (majority of rings are top-down and all are on the right leg
  5. Age class (immature or adult
  6. Number of metal ring (if found dead

Ring colours are:

  • Yellow with black text
  • White with black text
  • Green with white text
  • Blue with white text

Thank you for your help!