Black Terns

Every year, from the begin of april, black terns return from Africa and start breeding in the Netherlands. In july they already went back to Africa, coast of Western Africa until Namibia. They nest in the Netherlands in agricultural grasslands, with high water tables, wide ditches and abundant floating waterplants. Almost the entire Dutch population nests on artificial rafts.

In the Netherlands nest 1350-1570 breeding pairs (source: Vogelatlas van Nederland); a main area for them is the Krimpenerwaard. The pictures are taken from a small area with about 10 rafts in the Berkenwoudse Boezem.

Female black tern, waiting for a partner.
There he is! With a little fish!
Will they form a couple in the next breeding period? It looks good!