"Trouble in Sea Bird Paradise"

"EAST SAND ISLAND, Wash. — It's been a dozen years since the federal government moved thousands of black-capped squawking seabirds here to reduce their diet of endangered fish. Things haven't exactly gone as planned."

"The hope in relocating the world's largest colony of Caspian terns to this sandy mound near the river's mouth was that they'd eat more sardines and herring - and fewer young salmon and steelhead. And they have.

But the move came at a price. This year the birds' summer retreat was transformed into a place of violence. A strange chain reaction involving divebombing eagles and marauding gulls kept this colony from producing a single chick."

Craig Welch reports for McClatchy-Tribune News Service September 5, 2011.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011