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Here are the birds we commonly see during Capt. John Boats excursions. Of course, we can not guarantee that you will see all of them, but you should see most of them, and quite a few others. Many of them stay in the region all summer, and then migrate to warmer climates for the winter months. Some though, make this region their year-round home.

Common Tern

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Common Tern: Common terns can be seen flying gracefully over the water, searching for small fish and shrimp, which they capture by plunge diving from the air. They are sensitive to disturbances by humans, as whole colonies often fail to breed successfully because of disruption of the nesting areas by humans. As a result, their numbers are slowly declining.

Great Blue Heron

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Great Blue Heron: This large Heron is frequently seen standing on the edge of a pond or marshy pool, watching for fish or frogs, which are its principle food. It also feeds on small mammals, reptiles, and occasionally birds. Herons usually migrate south during the winter months, but some have been known to stay all year.

Piping Plover

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Piping Plover: The color of dry sand, the Plover can be difficult to see on the beach. The rapid expansion of summer resorts along the coastline has threatened or eliminated much of this species former nesting sites. As a result, the overall population has begun to suffer. This species arrives much earlier in the spring, and departs much earlier in the fall, than other migratory species.

Osprey

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Osprey: Also known as the "Sea Eagle", this majestic bird is amazing to watch as it hunts for food. Ospreys search for food by hovering over the water, watching the surface below. When prey is sighted, an Osprey dives steeply, its talons outspread, and splashes into the water. It quickly resurfaces and flys off with its catch, adjusting the catch in its claws so that the head is pointed forward.

American Kestrel

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American Kestrel: Also known as the "Sparrow Hawk", this bird has adapted to humans and nests even in our largest of cities, where it prays chiefly on House Sparrows. In the countryside, it takes insects, small birds, and rodents, capturing its prey on the ground rather than in midair like other falcons.

Common Loon

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Common Loon: The Common Loon is famous for its loud, whaling call, a characteristic sound of New England woods. Diving deeply for their prey, Loons have been caught in fishing nets as deep as 200 feet below the waters surface. Their principal food is fish, but they also eat shellfish, frogs, and aquatic insects.

Greater Shearwater

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Greater Shearwater: This bird visits our region from May to early November, but does not breed here. It moves to the eastern Atlantic in the late summer, before heading south to breed. Adept divers, they feed mainly on small fish and squid, which they pursue underwater with partially open wings and paddling feet.

Sooty Shearwater

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Sooty Shearwater: This is one of the most abundant birds in the world. Millions of individuals of this species live on the islands off New Zealand. Most that appear off our coast breed around Tierra del Fuego, off the southern tip of South America. You will often see this bird skimming the surface of the ocean on stiff wings over the tops of waves.

Manx Shearwater

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Manx Shearwater: Seeing this bird on our coast is a special treat. Unlike other Shearwater species, this bird does not follow ships at sea. It may "stop by" for a rest during migration, but its movements are poorly understood. There has been only one report of this bird actually breeding here in Massachusetts.

Double Crested Cormorant

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Double Crested Cormorant: This is the most familiar type of Cormorant in the eastern states. In fact, it is the only Cormorant likely to be seen during the summer. It nests and feeds readily on inland waters and the coastline. They can often be seen on navigation buoys or high-tension lines with its wing open, drying the seawater out of them. This species is an avid diver, and can pursue its prey underwater for over 30 seconds.

Herring Gull

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Herring Gull: This is a common "seagull" inland and along the coast. Since the 1960s it has become increasingly abundant due to the large amount of food it is able to find at landfills, and garbage dumps. Although it is a scavenger, it also eats large numbers of aquatic and marine animals.

Great Black-backed Gull

cape cod deep sea fishing capt john boats plymouth massachusetts
Great Black-backed Gull: Our areas largest gull, this coastal species accompanies the ever-present Herring Gull at all times of the year, even during summer, when they nest together in mixed colonies. However, this gull asserts dominance over its smaller relative. It preys on almost anything smaller than itself, eating, small ducks, petrels, fish, and shellfish.
 
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