Hey! It’s Rose here and my internship is with Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This summer I will be collecting biological data for common terns on Ship Island in Blue Hill Bay off the coast of Maine. During this internship I will be living on the island with my supervisor, Mary. We have already set up our 12’ by 16’ off the grid house.
During Training I was able to help set up Petit Manan Island as well. This island is slightly larger than ship and farther off shore. The researchers here will be working with puffins as well as common terns. I assisted in preparing the artificial puffin housing and setting up the house. The lighthouse there is the second tallest in Maine; at 119’ it provides a beautiful view of the island.
Once on Ship Island, we began by setting up the blinds (to watch the birds from). As we arrived a juvenile bald eagle was sitting on one, he stops in every now and then with two adults. The blinds are placed next to two new nesting areas that the refuge created this year in order to provide a safer breeding habitat for the terns. We placed decoy terns in the area and various beach items to encourage its use. Fingers are crossed.
We then set up the house: a drainage system, solar panels, propane, and a Davis weather station. The next few days were spent cleaning up the island, scrubbing the blinds, setting up a compost, and mowing. So far is has been a wonderful experience and I’m learning new aspects to island/ bird research every day. I’ll be back next week with photos of the birds and seals! Till next time!
If you are more interested in what goes on with all of the refuge's islands check our blog :