Date: 7/31/22 1:17 pm
From: Nick Bonomo via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] LIS "rain bait"
Last week while traveling by boat a mile or less off the coast from New
Haven to Westport, there was an impressive concentration of very small bait
fish on the water's surface off Milford near the mouth of the Housatonic
River. They were restricted to just this area.

Friends of mine noted similar schools this morning in western LIS off
Norwalk.

I am not sure what species is involved, but friends have speculated
juvenile menhaden AKA bunker.

Tiny baitfish are often referred to as "rain bait" because it looks like
countless drops of rain falling on the water when they all break the
surface at the same time.

These are the types of baits that staging and migrating terns should key-in
on while passing through the area. If those schools remain local, tern
numbers may increase substantially. I did not see many terns on the schools
I saw off Milford, but Laughing Gulls were sure getting in on the action.

Best,
Nick

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT
www.shorebirder.com

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