Common Tern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Tern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Tern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Tern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Common Tern
Seterna hirundo

Gulls and Terns
Gull Family (Laridae)

Size: Length: 33-41 cm Wingspan: 76 cm

Description: Terns are uncommon in the Rockies, rarely nesting in the foothills, but not in the Rockies. The common tern is one of only two species likely to be encountered. In flight, they look like a streamlined gull with a scissor shaped tail. The head is white with a black cap and nape. The bill is orange, tipped with black. They eye is also dark. The neck, underside, rump and tail are white. The upper wing surface and back are gray. The legs and feet are orange. They lose the black cap in winter. They nest in island colonies. The actual nest is a depression on the ground, lined with grass, twigs, or bits of shell. Terns hover over the water, diving head-first after small fish and invertebrates.

The common tern has seen its population fluctuate in recent years. With increased development around wetlands and lakes, it has seen its habitat disappear at an alarming rate. They are also very susceptible to pesticides.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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