While watching several species of terns at Sandy Point, I nearly stepped on this newborn Least Tern chick that was resting in the sand. I quickly backed up and got down on my stomach for some shots. I photographed it resting for about ten minutes, until a much larger Roseate Tern flew low over the colony. The Roseate's shadow spooked the Least Tern chick, causing it scurry down the beach towards its parent. This bird was literally the size of a cotton ball with toothpicks for legs. I almost missed the shot of it running away, as I was literally cracking up. This is late in the season to see a Least Tern this young, so I am assuming this is the result of a pair re-nesting after a failed attempt (usually the result of predation, weather, or nesting too close to the hide tide line).
Sandy Point State Reservation
August 12, 2011