Safe haven

On the sand, two million sooty terns lay their eggs, indicating the richness of the surrounding seas since there is no food for them on the atoll itself. All the terns want from the island is some dry sand to lay their egg on, and a place free from predators such as cats and rats which would eat the eggs and helpless chicks. These conditions allow the terns to lay their eggs straight on the ground and allows the chicks to be flightless for several weeks after hatching. It is therefore worthwhile flying hundreds of miles to breed here.

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