Penn State Berks Adopt-a-tern Program

Penn State Berks Adopt-a-tern Program

Adopt-a-tern logo and terns

You can make a difference.

Common terns Sterna hirundo are small, gull-like, seabirds that have a broad distribution in the Northern Hemisphere and maintain coastal and inland populations in the US and Canada. Unfortunately, it is now lost as a breeding species in Pennsylvania and populations in the Great Lakes as a whole are still experiencing distressing decline.

The Common Tern is an integral member of the Great Lakes? ecosystem whose loss would symbolize a major ecological change, so research efforts are being made by students and faculty at Penn State Berks to curb their decline.

Chart showing declining tern population

The Adopt-a-tern Program

This donation initiative is vital to fund essential conservation efforts by Berks students and faculty (see below). With every seasonal adoption, you receive:

  • A welcome letter detailing your adopted nest or bird
  • Updates on the fortunes of your common tern
  • An official adoption certificate for your nest with full color photo and more!


Description of figure: Decline in the number of nests of Common Terns counted in the Upper (Huron, Michigan, & Superior) and Lower (Erie & Ontario) Great Lakes,1976 - 2000. Data from Morris et al. 2010, J. Great Lakes Res. 36: 44-56.

100% of all donations directly fund field research or internship opportunities for students.

Penn State Berks Conservation and Research

Baby tern held in person's handsResearch efforts of student interns and faculty at Penn State Berks track the challenges faced by Common Terns and guide management decisions for the conservation of this species.

Interns go through intensive training before spending the summer months undertaking conservation and research at common tern breeding sites in the Great Lakes. This experiential learning program provides them with hands-on, field and research skills and promotes extensive career development in wildlife and conservation.


Download the Official Brochure for the Adopt-a-tern Program (PDF)

Join Adopt-a-tern now!

Program Director

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