Tern photo gallery: A dozen beauties

5/23/2016 | 0

Two Sandwich Terns on the beach at Fort De Soto State Park, near St. Petersburg, Florida.

A highlight of our June 2016 issue, on newsstands now, is Peter Paton’s article about the Common Terns and Roseate Terns that breed on Great Gull Island, at the entrance to Long Island Sound. The article made us want to see more terns, and more species of terns, so we prepared this tern photo gallery, which shows a dozen different terns.

The Sandwich Terns above are some of our favorites. The birds were posing on the beach at Fort De Soto State Park, near St. Petersburg, Florida. Mike Landwehr took the photo with a Canon Mark II N camera and a 500mm lens.

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern flying in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

No tern photo gallery would be complete without Arctic Tern, which breeds far to our north. It has a short bill, which turns red during breeding season. wahoowoman took the photo above in Glacier Bay, Alaska. She used a Canon 7D camera and 100-400mm IS lens.

Black Tern

Black Tern, perched, near Aberdeen, Saskatchewan.

Black Tern has a black body, gray wings, and a snow-white vent. mayhaga photographed the bird above near Aberdeen, Saskatchewan, using a Nikon D300s camera, a 300mm lens, and a 1.4x teleconverter (f5.6, 1/1600).

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern in flight at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Ontario.

A massive red bill is the calling card for Caspian Tern. This one was photographed at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, in Ontario, by Nina Stavlund.

Forster’s Tern

Forster’s Tern in flight at the Indian River Inlet in Delaware.

Photographer Harry Collins tells us the Forster’s Tern above was using the jetty of the Indian River Inlet in Delaware as a trap for small fish. As the waves crashed against the rocks, sending the fish airborne, the bird dove and grabbed them.

Elegant Tern

Elegant Tern standing on rock.

Elegant Tern is best distinguished from Royal Tern (pictured at the end of this tern photo gallery) by its longer, thinner, down-curved bill. Tony Britton photographed this one with a Canon SX40 HS camera.

Common Tern

Common Tern hovering over a nesting site in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Photographed by Christopher Ciccone, the Common Tern above was hovering over a nesting site in a colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts. That its bill was orange-red with a black tip tells you that it was breeding season.

Aleutian Terns

Aleutian Tern on a log floating in Kachemak Bay, in south-central Alaska.

Aleutian Tern breeds only in coastal Alaska. George Matz photographed the pair above as they rested on a log floating in Kachemak Bay, in south-central Alaska. He used a Canon Rebel XSI camera with a Tamron 200-400mm lens.

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern in flight in 2014 in Cape May, New Jersey.

Whiskered Tern breeds across Eurasia from southwestern Europe east to China and winters in sub-saharan Africa. This one caused quite a commotion back in 2014. It was photographed by thescavenger in Cape May, New Jersey. The sighting represented only the third U.S. record.

Least Terns

Least Tern with two fuzzy chicks at Sandy Point State Reservation in Massachusetts.

Least Tern has a yellow bill and white forehead. The bird above was caring for two fuzzy chicks at Sandy Point State Reservation, in Massachusetts. Kim Caruso photographed it in late June 2014. She used a Canon 7D camera and a 2400mm 5.6L lens.

Gull-billed Terns

Gull-billed Terns in flight at Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Gautam Chakrabarti photographed the Gull-billed Terns above at Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, in Andhra Pradesh, India, with a Canon EOS 7D camera and EF 100-400mm lens.

Royal Tern

Royal Tern standing on Flagler Beach, north of Daytona Beach, Florida.

Royal Tern, the final species in our tern photo gallery, has a large, heavy bill. Joshua Clark says he crawled on his belly on Flagler Beach, north of Daytona Beach, Florida, to take this revealing low-level picture.

The June 2016 issue of BirdWatching Magazine, containing our report about the terns of Great Gull Island, is on sale now at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands. The issue is also available on your favorite digital device.

The trans-Atlantic terns of Great Gull Island.

 

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