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Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia

On-line version ISSN 0718-686X


CURSACH, Jaime A.; VILUGRON, Jonnathan  and  RAU, Jaime R.. Nesting of the South American Tern (Sterna hirundinacea) in Caicura Islands (41° S), Reloncaví Sound, southern Chile. Anales Instituto Patagonia (Chile) [online]. 2021, vol.49, 6.  Epub Sep 30, 2021. ISSN 0718-686X.

The South American Tern (Sterna hirundinacea) is a endemic seabird on the coasts of South America. The present work describes its nesting in the Caicura lslands (41° S), southern Chile, providing information on the number of nests, eggs and chicks, during three consecutive reproductive seasons (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16). Egg laying began in November, with chicks observed in December, and fledglings in January. Most of the nests featured only one egg. The total eggs per season were 295, 386 and 313, respectively. The hatching rate was significantly different between the three seasons, increasing over time from 41.2%, 62.5% and 82.8%, respectively. The cumulative total of chicks per season was 119, 249 and 223, respectively. The total chick mortality was near to 10%. The Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) was identified as the main predator of eggs and chicks of the South American Tern. Finally, the Caicura lslands are the second most important site in Chile for the reproduction of the South American Tern.

Keywords : Seabird; reproductive biology; nests; Reloncaví.

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