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Sandwich-like Tern, Half Moon Bay, California

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  • Alvaro Jaramillo
    Hi Folks, Today in Half Moon Bay, I found a tern that looked essentially like a Sandwich Tern, but it had too much yellow on the bill tip and yellow along the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4 9:59 PM
      Hi Folks,



      Today in Half Moon Bay, I found a tern that looked essentially like a
      Sandwich Tern, but it had too much yellow on the bill tip and yellow along
      the cutting edges of the bill. I think birds like this have been thought to
      be hybrids in the past (Elegant x Sandwich), and I don't know if any has
      been seen before here in San Mateo County. Structurally it looked just like
      an Elegant Tern, and I am wondering if in fact these birds are extremes in
      what is possible in Elegant Tern? A good proportion of Elegants have black
      on the bill, but never this much, and they tend to have orange rather than
      yellow bills. It was with 350 - 400 Elegant Terns of which at least one had
      substantial black on the bill, and a few others had traces of black. So I am
      torn as to what this thing is. But I think I am safe thinking that a real
      Sandwich Tern cannot look like this? Here are two photos:



      http://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/



      good birding,



      Alvaro



      Alvaro Jaramillo

      alvaro@...

      www.alvarosadventures.com





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