Common Terns were studied during January and March 1985 in Trinidad as part of wintering terns in Latin America. Eighty-nine birds were captured, 33 in January, 56 in March. Terns averaged 102 .+-. 0.9 g, with March birds weighing more than those caught in January. This weight is similar to that reported earlier by Blokpoel et al. (1982, 1984) and is considerably less than weights of either premigratory immature or adult Common Terns. Terns in Trinidad appear to be opportunistic, using human fishing for their food source and roosting on boats, oil platforms and other man-made structures. One-half of the captured sample of birds had at least detectable amounts of oil on the plumage. This represents the highest frequency of oiling reported yet for any seabird living under 'baseline' (non-spill) conditions in North or Central America. Oiling had no apparent major effect on the condition of birds since oiled birds had similar weights and blood parameters when compared to unoiled birds.
Additional publication details
Winter distribution and oiling of common terns in Trinidad: A further look