Joan's Video

Joan Walsh: In the field at Great Gull Island

Ever wonder what we do in the field? Check out this video of Bertrand Chair, Joan Walsh, marking Roseate Tern nests on Great Gull Island, NY. Jeff Collins, Director of Conservation Science at Mass Audubon, asked Joan to share what a day in the field looks like on Great Gull Island. Joan has worked on Great Gull Island off and on for 39 years. The island is home to 18,000 Common Terns and 3,000 federally endangered Roseate Terns.

When she reaches a Roseate Tern nest box, if there is a nest, she marks it with GPS coordinates and records data on eggs and nestlings. Roseate Terns prefer to nest under vegetation or in man-made nest boxes. The work seen in this video was part of Joan’s 5-day effort to mark nests.

Important: It is illegal to approach or disturb a nest without a permit. Joan works under a permit to research Roseate Terns and Common Terns.

*Video footage was sped up when Joan is doing the nest box marking to fit more content in 1 minute. Joan is not that speedy!

3 thoughts on “Joan Walsh: In the field at Great Gull Island

  1. Sara

    Fantastic! I just saw my first roseate turn on Puffin cruise at Egg Rock near New Harbor ME! Thank you Joan.

  2. Margo S.

    For anyone wondering…the flowers on Joan’s hat are there to hopefully keep the birds from hitting her head directly as they defend their nests. They’ll go for the highest point.

  3. Eric

    Thank you! Great to see all of the hard work that goes into all the data we sometimes take for granted.


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