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Common Tern Project

Tern ProgramCommon Terns were once abundant throughout the St. Lawrence River Valley. However, populations of these graceful waterbirds with their distinctive call have dropped to dramatically low levels due to loss of nesting habitat. In fact, Common Terns are listed as a 'threatened' species in New York State.

To learn more about the Common Tern, visit the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's Common Tern page.

Volunteer Monitoring Partnership

Thanks to restoration and monitoring programs, common tern populations are slowing growing on the River.

Each year, Save The River teams up with the Thousand Islands Land Trust, Dr. Lee Harper of the St. Lawrence Bird Observatory, and numerous volunteers to monitor Common Tern nesting grounds on the River.

Each summer, Save The River volunteers monitor adopted tern nesting areas along the River. Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Monitor colonies weekly
  • Observe clutch size (number of eggs) and nestling survivorship
  • Assist with habitat restoration projects
  • Compile data for annual report

Data gathered is critical to scientists studying common tern populations and also guides habitat restoration efforts. 

Interested in Volunteering?

To learn more about the program and to volunteer, call Save The River or e-mail info@savetheriver.org.

Latest News

Save The River’s Summer Raffle!
This summer Save The River is raffling off a beautiful Great-Blue Heron that was hand-carved and painted by George Textor. read more

Restoring the Common Tern in the Islands
Each year Save The River teams up with the Thousand Islands Land Trust, Dr. Lee Harper of St. Lawrence Bird Observatory, and numerous volunteers to monitor Common Tern nesting grounds on the River. Save The River Board member John Peach has written an excellent history of the effort for the July 2014 issue of T.I. Life Magazine. read more

Volunteers! Common Tern Nesting Grid Installation, Tuesday, April 29th
Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to help with our annual Common Tern exclusion grid installation on Tuesday, April 29th at 9:00 am. Volunteers will meet at the Land Trust office in Clayton at 8:45 am to gather equipment and catch the boat to the project location. Since 2003, Save The River ... read more

Gull Exclusion Grid Removal on Eagle Wings set for Tuesday, August 6th. Volunteers still needed!
Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program draws to a close for another season.  In preparation for the closing of the season Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust will remove the exclusion grid on Eagle Wing Shoals on Tuesday, August 6th and volunteers are still needed. Interested volunteers ... read more

Volunteers Needed to Help with Tern Grid Installation, Thursday, April 12th
Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to help with our annual Common Tern exclusion grid installation on Thursday, April 12th at 9:00 am. Volunteers will meet at the Land Trust office in Clayton at 8:45 am to gather equipment and catch the boat to the project location. Since 2003, Save The River and ... read more

Volunteers Needed to Help with Tern Grid Installation, April 12
Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to help with our annual Common Tern exclusion grid installation on Tuesday, April 12th. Volunteers will meet at the Land Trust offices in Clayton at 9 a.m. to gather equipment and catch the boat to the project location. Since 2003, Save The River and TILT have teamed up ... read more

Volunteers needed to paint Common Tern decoys, Friday April 1
Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to assist with painting Common Tern decoys for the Common Tern Monitoring Program on Friday, April 1st at 9 a.m. at the Land Trust offices in Clayton. The decoys will be used during the upcoming nesting season to help attract Common Terns to ... read more

Tern Season Comes to a Close
This summer was a successful one for terns on the River, with numbers at an all time high on the River as a whole. Save The River volunteers worked very hard this season along with our conservation partners the Thousand Island Land Trust (TILT) to increase avaiable nesting habitat on the River for terns as well ... read more

See our blog for more news!     

Get in Touch

409 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624
p: (315) 686-2010
e: info@savetheriver.org

River Photos

Off to the races by Pam Quimby  Resting by Pam Quimby  On the Rocks by Nick Apel  Classic Sunset by Barb Hupp  TI Park Library by Meg Kerr  Fall by Carrie Kerr  Girls by Juliane Bauer  Winter Navigation by Sherman Ward 
 Pictures from our Flickr photostream

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