Isla Raza (Isla Rasa), a fairly small island in the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), is the world's
main breeding spot for Heermann's Gulls and Elegant Terns. Royal Terns also breed there. We were there toward
the end of the breeding season; most of the birds had left, but many, both adults and juveniles, were still
there. We first cruised along the shore in zodiacs, then went ashore. The island is protected and visits
are restricted, but permission had been granted for our group to go ashore briefly, with strict limits on
There was a stone building that houses researchers studying the gulls, when they are on the island. (No researchers were there at the time of our visit.)
Many young birds took shelter from the heat of the sun, in the shadow of this building.
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Copyright © 2005, Edwin E. Moïse. Revised July 15, 2005.