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VAN DER WINDEN J, HOTTTING M, WEEDA S, VOS R, BOM R, KREETZ T CIMIOTTI D & DREEF C (2021) Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica breeds in pioneer habitat of Marker Wadden. LIMOSA 94 (3): 124-127.

Since the sixties, the population of Gull-billed Terns in Northwest Europe had declined substantially in numbers and distribution, with only one colony remaining in the German Elbe estuary nowadays. Predator-exclusion fencing led to increased reproduction in this colony. In the Netherlands, Gull-billed Terns bred regularly until around 1958 and there was one incidental breeding attempt at Balgzand NH in 2005. In May 2020, a Gull-billed Tern pair started nesting in a mixed Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta and Common Tern Sterna hirundo colony at the newly created Marker Wadden archipelago, situated in Markermeer Flevoland. On June 5th, two eggs were present, from which at least one chick hatched on June 7th. For unknown reasons no chicks fledged. We colourringed one of the parents and a wildlife camera took pictures of it in northern Germany (at Beltringharder Koog) on June 30th. This indicates the ability of the species to disperse vast distances (> 300 km) during the breeding season. The current efforts to create new islands with marsh habitats at Marker Wadden in 2017 resulted in the return of this enigmatic species. This is encouraging for many comparable projects foreseen in the coming years.

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limosa 94.3 2021
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