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Chick Shelters

Photo: Melissa Groo

Two videos of Black Skimmer:1. How do Black Skimmer catch fish?2. A chick is eating an enormous fish!

Royal TernPhoto: USFWSThe Royal Tern lives up to its name with a tangerine-colored bill and ragged, ink-black crest against crisp white plumage. Royal Terns fly gracefully and slowly along coastlines, diving for small fish, which they capture with a swift strike of their daggerlike bills.Photo: Rodrigo ArgentonRoyal Tern chicks leave their nest within one day after hatching and congregate in a group known as a crèche (“nursery”), which can contain thousands of chicks ranging in age from 2–35 days old. Royal Tern parents feed only their own chick. They find it in the crowd probably by recognizing its call.To find a partner, Royal Terns perform a pretty dance. You can see this in the video.

Common TernYou can identify Common Terns by their orange-red bill, red feet, and black cap. Their wings are long and narrow and have pointed tips. The tail is forked. The Common Tern forages mostly by flying over water, hovering, and plunging to catch prey below the surface. Unlike Royal Terns that are only found on the coast, Common Terns can also live in freshwater habitats on the shores of rivers and lakes.The Common Tern drinks on the wing, dipping its bill in the water with its wing held up. They can drink saltwater and freshwater. Like many seabirds, they have nasal glands that excrete excess salt.In the winter, Common Terns migrate all the way down to South America, some of them as far as Peru or Argentina.When the weather is chilly in the spring, Common Tern chicks huddle together in their nest and fluff up their downy feathers. Here is a short video of these cute bird babies:

Coast Kids Camouflage QuizBefore you start, click on the 3 dots in the lower right corner and expand the quiz (two arrows).

Painting Instructions1. Protect your painting surface and clothes. You'll be using acrylic paint which will permanently stain your table and clothes. Spread newspaper on your table, and wear the T-shirt and the gloves.2. Paint anything you want on the chick shelters! Make the chicks feel welcome in their shelters!3. Clean up with soap and water.4. When the paint is dry, please email Verena at coastkids@actforbays.org. We will pick up the shelters from your house, unless you live more than 35 miles from Berlin, MD. In this case, please send the shelters back to Coast Kids, Assateague Coastal Trust, 9842 N Main Street, Berlin, MD 21811.Please have your chick shelters ready by March 22nd, 2021!Also, please take pictures - or even better a short video - when painting, and email them to coastkids@actforbays.org or text to 410 629 9454.Thank you!

Hello Coast Kids!