A group in Pointe-du-Chêne is hoping to entice a displaced colony of common terns to stay in the bay after the barge the birds were using as their summer home was replaced last fall with a rock wall.
The Shediac Bay Watershed Association installed a floating platform on the weekend, complete with guard rails for clumsy chicks, shade and a recorded tern call to attract the birds.
Rémi Donelle, the manager of the Shediac Bay Watershed Association, said the group does not have a lot of time to waste if it wants to successfully lure the terns to the platform.
He said if the birds leave the area to nest elsewhere, it is unlikely that they will return to Shediac Bay.
“We really want to keep those birds in the Shediac Bay because it's something that's quite rare, tern colonies, they're not found everywhere,” he said.
Donelle said he hopes the recorded tern call that is on the platform will attract the birds to the new location. It seems to be working, he said.
“I can see that birds are hanging around way more,” he said.
But Donelle said he won't know if the new colony has been successfully relocated until eggs are laid.
“The terns arrived maybe two or three weeks ago, they'll be nesting anytime so, in the next three to four weeks we should know if we've got a success or not,” he said.
If the terns do choose to nest there, Donelle said the watershed association will try to expand the platform to accommodate a full colony.
Terns have caused controversy in the past in southeastern New Brunswick. In 2009, boaters and birders sparred over the terns’ nesting habits.
Boaters were upset by the mess the birds were leaving behind.