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Common Tern

Sterna hirundo

Description:

Adults have light grey upper parts, white to very light grey underparts, a black cap, orange-red legs and a narrow pointed bill. Depending on the subspecies, the bill may be mostly red with a black tip or all black. Identifying Common Tern from other species, such as the Arctic, is done through plumage details, leg and bill color, or vocalizations.

Habitat:

Terns are sea birds. The Common Tern nests on any flat, poorly vegetated surface close to water, including beaches and islands, and it readily adapts to artificial substrates such as floating rafts. The nest may be a bare scrape in sand or gravel, but it is often lined or edged with whatever debris is available. Like most terns, this species feeds by plunge-diving for fish, either in the sea or in freshwater, but molluscs, crustaceans and other invertebrate prey may form a significant part of the diet in some areas. Like most terns, this species feeds by plunge-diving for fish, either in the sea or in freshwater, but molluscs, crustaceans and other invertebrate prey may form a significant part of the diet in some areas. This spotting was done at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, an estuary and bird sanctuary located next to the Pacific Ocean.

Notes:

This bird is very similar in appearance to the endangered California Least Tern. The two can be distinguished easily from one another by the black cap. On the Common Tern, it covers the head fully. On the Least Tern, it is split into two parts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_...

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catgrin
Spotted by
catgrin

Orange, California, USA

Spotted on May 29, 2012
Submitted on May 30, 2012

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