Coastal Waterbird Program Science-based Conservation

Adult and fledgling Roseate Terns

The Coastal Waterbird Program undertakes management research to advance conservation objectives including developing best practices in bird and habitat protection. A good example of this is the program’s intensive study to understand movements and post-breeding habitat use of Roseate Terns, in partnership with USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

Our work indicates that the majority of the endangered Northwest Atlantic Roseate Tern population stages (readies for migration) in southeastern Massachusetts—specifically, on outer Cape Cod and Nantucket beaches. The study has provided important data for policy making and offshore energy siting.

Roseate and Common Terns roost on mudflats at Cape Cod National Seashore
Roseate and common terns roost on mudflats at Cape Cod National Seashore © K. Blake