Archive for February, 2008

The Sooty’s Have Arrived

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Debra Hess
Yankee Freedom II Naturalist

Recent excitement about the annual arrival of Sooty Terns for the 2008 breeding season were realized on Wednesday, January 30, 2008. The arrival of the Yankee Freedom II to Dry Tortugas National Park docks that Wednesday coincided with a sky darkened by thousands of Sooty Terns, swooping over Bush Key, and calling enthusiastically in mating bliss. The birds commence egg laying immediately, and by early February chicks should hatch and adult parents will scramble in a fish catching frenzy to feed the chicks.

Sooty TernsSooty TernSooty Egg

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Cold Front Brings Waves and Gannets

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Debra Hess
Yankee Freedom II Naturalist

Winter season has arrived and Northern Gannets have been the highlight of our boat rides aboard the Yankee Freedom II. These large sea birds with white plumage and black wing tips have been peppering the seas surrounding the Marquesas Islands catching bait fish. Gannets are migratory sea birds usually found in the coastal regions of the North Atlantic. Many gannets (especially young birds) winter in the Gulf of Mexico.

Young Gannet

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