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Return of the Seabirds

Common ternFrom the mouth of the Piscataqua River, which connects New Hampshire's Great Bay to the ocean, you can see the Isles of Shoals. The nine small islands, about six miles offshore, have long served as breeding grounds for dozens of seabird species. However, common terns vanished from the Isles of Shoals some 60 years ago -- destroyed by hunters, hatmakers and a proliferation of seagulls.

But now -- the birds are back! NH Fish and Game and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, in collaboration with other agencies, foundations, organizations and businesses, have implemented a dramatically successful restoration program on New Hampshire's Seavey Island. Human technology and ingenuity helped restore critical habitat at the Shoals for common terns. Some roseate and arctic terns have moved in, too -- an unanticipated fringe benefit of the project.

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Return of the Seabirds

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Did You Know?

... The arctic tern migrates over 10, 000 miles from pole to pole and back again every year. That's over 20,000 miles!

... The male common tern courts the female by bringing her a fish!

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File FolderLearn more about these shorebirds.

Teacher's Guide

Seabird Teacher's GuideClick here to access the teacher's guide for this episode.