Natal characteristics of Common Terns Sterna hirundo that returned as prospecting pre-breeders to their home colony in a coastal brackish water lake in North-western Germany were compared with those that did not return. No influence of either fledgling number or hatching order on return rates (mean 41%) could be found. These findings indicate that during the stage of post-fledging care, individual parental quality becomes less important for the survival of the offspring.

Atlantic seabirds

CC BY 3.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding")

Nederlandse Zeevogelgroep

T. Dittmann, J.-D. Ludwigs, & P.H. Becker. (2001). The influence of fledgling number and hatching order on return rates of Common Terns Sterna hirundo. Atlantic seabirds, 3(4), 179–186.