Dispersal and migratory patterns of San Francisco Bay produced herons, egrets, and terns

North American Bird Bander
By:  and 



San Francisco Bay, California, including its fringing marshes, supports a large and diverse water related avifauna (Grinnell and Wythe 19271 Sibley 1952, Gill 1973, 1977). Certain of man's alterations of the Bay's shallower wetlands have resulted in increased habitat diversity which has allowed colonization by several species of birds including some colonial nesting species. The extensive dikes associated with salt production and some areas of higher ground created by dredge spoils have provided increased tide-free substratum, some of it insular, suitable for nesting. The resulting numbers of Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula), Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri), and Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia) using these areas now represent a significant portion of the northern California breeding populations of these species.

In conjunction with a study of the breeding birds of the South San Francisco Bay Estuary (Gill 1973, 1977) from 1971 to 1973, we banded 187 Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias), 1499 Snowy Egrets, 1615 Black-crowned Night Herons, 2943 Forster's Terns, and 743 Caspian Terns; often this represented a substantial portion of these species banded in the western states during these years (Table 1). Recoveries from these bandings through 1977 plus additional recoveries from a few earlier and some more recent bandings provide the data for this report on dispersal patterns and migration of San Francisco Bay produced herons, egrets, and terns.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Dispersal and migratory patterns of San Francisco Bay produced herons, egrets, and terns
Series title North American Bird Bander
Volume 4
Issue 1
Year Published 1979
Language English
Publisher Western, Inland, and Eastern Bird Banding Associations
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 4
Last page 13
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay
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