60 percent of least terns nest on SC rooftops

Source: carolinabirdclub.org
Source: carolinabirdclub.org

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The SC Department of Natural Resources says 60 percent of the least terns population in the Palmetto State are now nesting on rooftops.

The least tern is the smallest seabird nesting on South Carolina's coast; they begin nesting earlier than most seabirds.

They often nest on "flat pea gravel covered roofs," DNR states, and they've been nesting on roofs since the early 80's.

This behavior may be a reaction to increased coastal development which decreases the span of suitable beach nesting habitats.

The most successful colony of least terns are at the Springmaid Resort in Myrtle Beach with 94 nests and at least 74 fledged young terns. There are also known nests in Charleston, Berkeley, and Kershaw Counties

"The concrete supports are shaded during part of the day and the least terns are not disturbed!" said biologist Mary-Catherine Martin, commenting on the Ravenel Bridge colony sites.

SCDNR does work with business owners who have least terns nesting on their roofs by providing an environment to enhance reproductive success.

Today folks out enjoying nature said they are glad the DNR is helping the birds thrive but just think it's a shame the animals have had to adapt to human activity.

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