Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Terns
 
 
 

TRAITS
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 Tinamous
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 Waterfowl
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Totipalmate Swm

   Tropicbirds
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Waders
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 NW Vultures
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   Buttonquail
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 Shorebirds
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   Gulls/Terns
   Auks

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   Jacamars/Puffbd

 
Pici
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PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
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   Woodcreepers
   Antthrushes
   Tapaculos 

 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
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 Aust. Wrens
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 OW Orioles
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 Flowerpeckers
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 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

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Charadriiformes / Lari - Terns
 
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Shorebirds, Charadriiformes
Pterocli - Sandgrouse
Charadrii - Shorebirds
Families: Seedsnipe, Plains-wanderer, Thick-knees, Plovers and Lapwings, Oystercatchers,
    IbisbillStilts and Avocets, Painted Snipe, Jacanas, Magellanic Plover, Sheathbills,
    Sandpipers, Phalaropes
Lari - Gulls, Terns, Skimmers
Families: Crab Plovers, Pratiincoles and Coursers, Jaegers and Skuas, Gulls, Terns, Skimmers
Alcae - Auks
Families: Auks
 
Species:   
Pacific Golden-Plover, Southern Lapwing, Blackish Oystercatcher,
American Black Oystercatcher
, Silver Gull, Western Gull, Heermann's Gull, Lava Gull, Swallow-tailed Gull, Kelp Gull, Dolphin Gull, South American Tern
 
Images:   
Sanderling, Willet, Piping and Semipalmated Plovers,
Masked, Southern, Red-wattled, and Northern Lapwings
, White-tailed Plover,
Eurasian, Blackish, and American Black Oystercatchers, Pied Stilt,
Northern and Wattled Jacanas, Snowy SheathbillWillet, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper,
Red Phalarope, Alaskan shorebirds, Laughing Gull, Forster's Tern, Black Skimmer,
South Polar Skua
, Bonaparte's Gull, Fairy Tern, Black Skimmer,
Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Klittliz's Murrelet, Black Guillemot, and Tufted Puffin
 
  Family Laridae (or Family Sternidae)
      Subfamily Sterninae
- Terns
Wiki     ToL     EoL
EXAMPLE
  45 species placed in 7 genera. Worldwide.
   Terns resemble angular gulls with pointed bills, shorter legs, long pointed wings, and forked tails (some have the outer tail feathers forming elongated streamers). However, terns are smaller and more slender ("graceful") than gulls. Most are small to medium in size, ranging from the 9 inch Little Tern, Sterna albifrons, to the Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia, at 20 inches.
   Sea terns (Sterna) resemble smaller gulls in plumage but have a cap rather than a hood and lack clear black primary tips. The bill is mainly red (in breeding plumage). It is straight (the culmen is not decurved and the maxilla does not overhang the mandible as in gulls). Marsh terns (Childonias).are darker. Several other patterns are found - the White Tern, Gygis alba, is white; Noddies are pale gray, etc. Terns also take several years to mature. Most juveniles have brown plumage. They take up to 2 years to reach maturity. Their pelvic muscle formula is ABXY+. Their sternum long and narrow.
   Most feed on small fish. Many plunge dive, often from a hovering position. Marsh terns usually pick insects and invertebrates from the surface (so do some other terns in inland areas). The Gull-billed Tern, Sterna nilotica, feeds on insects, crabs, and mudskippers which it plucks from the surface of dunes, flats, and the high beach.
   It is common to hear rasping flight calls from the larger terns. The characteristic twitters of the Least Tern, Sterna antillarum, offer the best way to find it along our beaches.
   Terns are more common in tropical and subtropical habitats. Marsh terns favor freshwater marshes. Some terns disperse to offshore waters after breeding. Some become pelagic (the Sooty Tern, Sterna fuscata, is unable to land on the water and remains aloft between breeding seasons).
   Many terns breeding in temperate areas make long seasonal migrations. The Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea, is one of the longest distance migrants known - it winters in Antarctic regions and breeds in Arctic regions.
   Most terns nest communally - often in large colonies on isolated islands. Royal and Sandwich Terns, Thalasseus maximus and T. sandvicensis,  breed on nearby Deveaux Bank, using raised inland ridges (gulls nest around the fringe and pelicans breed in the bushes or on lower ground). They lay 1-3 eggs. Their nests are usually unlined scrapes.
   Terns are long lived (some reach 25-30 years of age).
  On Seabrook, we can see 8 species: large crested terns, including Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, and Sandwich Tern; medium terns including Common Tern and Forster's Tern; and others including the Gull-billed Tern. and our smallest terns, the Black Tern, and Least Tern.
 
Fairy Tern
Common Fairy (Angel) Tern, Gygis alba.
Oahu, HI.
                                         Wiki     ToL     EoL
 
 
  Family Rhynchopidae - Skimmers
Wiki     ToL     EoL
EXAMPLE
  3 species,1 genus (Rhyncops). Skimmers are found on the east coast of North America, the coasts of South America, coasts and rivers of Africa, and larger rivers in India, Burma, and southeast Asia. Tropical and subtropical waders.
   Skimmers resemble long-winged terns. They are black above and white below with a white forehead and a priminent white trailing edge to the wing. Their bill is orange or red and is specialized for skimming; the mandible is longer than the maxilla and both are compressed to thin blades. The head is supported by a stout neck with modified cervical vertebrae holding the large neck muscles. The pupil of the eye is slit-like (like a cat's). The wings are long and pointed. Their flight is buoyant and, while skimming, wing beats are rapid and shallow. "Skimming" consists of streaming the flattened, elongate lower mandible through the surface layer of the water while they fly low over the surface. Upon encountering a small fish, the upper maxilla snaps to capture the prey (and the head flexes momentarily) and skimming resumes. Their pelvic muscles are ABXY+, Their caeca are small.
   These agile birds gather in large flocks, resting on coastal and riverine banks.
   Skimmers have a harsh call sometimes heard as they fly by in a small group.
   Skimmers lay 3-7 eggs on beaches (including margins of Deveaux Bank). The female incubates. Young are precocial and leave the nest upon hatching. They find shelter in the scrape or other depressions in the sand and may be shaded by their parents. Their mandibles are initially of equal length but they differentiate rapidly during fledging.
   One skimmer occurs on Seabrook - the Black Skimmer.
 
Black Skimmer
 
Black Skimmers, Rynchops niger. North Beach
SI Web
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




   
  Banner - Forster's Terns. Lagoon, North Beach.