ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) — Wildlife biologists say a change in diet caused by either climate change or overfishing may be to blame for an unusually high number of baby seabird deaths along the Gulf of Maine.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service researchers say in a typical year, about half the tern chicks born on Maine islands die. This year about two-thirds of the chicks died, many of starvation.
Terns usually give their chicks a herring-rich diet. But observers noted this year that adults were giving the baby birds more butterfish, which are wider and difficult for young birds to swallow. The adults were also feeding their young more insects.
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com