The Brown Noddy Terns

If you go out to the Dry Tortugas between the months of March and September, you will not be allowed to go on Bush Key. During these months, Bush Key becomes a nature preserve that houses thousands of nesting sooty terns and brown noddy terns. Traveling from the Caribbean Sea and the west-central parts of the Atlantic Ocean, these birds seek the remoteness and compactness of the Dry Tortugas Bush Key. While visitors to the Dry Tortugas cannot actually go to Bush Key, a pair of binoculars will allow you to see the nesting birds.

The Brown Noddies are an interesting species of bird. These are tropical seabirds that can be found all over the world including Hawaii, Australia, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean Ocean. The Brown Noddy (also known as the Common Noddy) can be distinguished from the closely related Black Noddy mainly by its size. The Brown Noddy is much larger and its plumage is a dark brown color instead of black. Because these are a colonial type of bird, they typically nest on elevated areas like cliffs or short trees, but they sometimes nest on flat grounds, like the Brown Noddies that came to the Dry Tortugas. During the nesting season, only a single egg is laid by the female noddy with each pair of male and female noddy only producing one offspring. Brown Noddies typically travel in large numbers as they seem to find safety in the large groups.