By Press Staff
Published 4:47 pm EDT, Friday, July 12, 2019
Rachael Finch ‘21, a biology major at Eastern Connecticut State University from East Haddam, has spent the past five weeks working with the endangered birds in Massachusetts’ Buzzards Bay.
WILLIMANTIC — Rachael Finch, ‘21, a biology major at Eastern Connecticut State University from East Haddam, has spent the past five weeks working with the endangered birds in Massachusetts’ Buzzards Bay.
As the recipient of an Eastern Summer Research Fellowship, she is working to help restore the population of roseate terns — an endangered, migratory seabird that nests in the Northeast, according to a press release.
Under the supervision of Biology Professor Patty Szczys, and in collaboration with Mass Wildlife, Finch’s field work occurred on Ram and Bird Islands in Buzzards Bay. Each morning, she’d take a boat ride to either of the islands and spend the day monitoring the birds, the release said.
“Being on the island every day is exhausting,” she said of the early mornings and long hours in a prepared statement. “However, the work we’re doing for the birds is crucial to help their survival.”
Among her objectives, Finch is assessing whether leg banding — the traditional method of tracking and monitoring terns — is in fact harming the already endangered birds.
“The bands may cause an increase in mortality on their wintering grounds, thus potentially contributing to their slow population growth,” said Finch, who is comparing survival rates in banded versus unbanded terns.