Best Western’s Least Terns

Earlier this week we stayed at the Best Western hotel in Cocoa, Florida. The first thing we noticed after parking our car was the bird activity concentrated around the roof. Dozens of Least Terns were flying around, many of them carrying fish in.

Least Terns

Least Terns on hotel roof

The hotel had a sign posted in the lobby as a sort of apology for the birds. We thought they were wonderful though, no apology needed! Not even for the little gifts they left on our car each day.

Least Tern Terd

The sign explained that the Least Tern is endangered in Florida. Since the birds are protected, the hotel has consulted with wildlife experts on ways to discourage the birds from breeding on their roof, but it would take some time before they could get rid of them completely. The terns were most active for just a few weeks in the year, and we got to see it. I was very happy that our visit coincided with this activity and we enjoyed watching them doing their thing.

They were constantly flying and it was very hard to take photos of them. Occasionally one or two would briefly land on the roof. In the video you can see we managed to catch one preening a bit.

Least Tern on hotel roof

The last time we were treated to birds living on the property of our hotel was when we stayed at the Amar Sina hotel in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. They had a pigeon tower on the roof and I liked to go and spy on the sleeping pidges when we walked by at night. 🙂

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