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Caspian and Royal Terns

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  • Jim Stevenson
    Hi All, As Jim Cav well knows, Caspian Terns are regularly found away from the marine realm, such as up rivers and in inland lakes. Their bulky build indicates
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 1, 2012
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      Hi All,

      As Jim Cav well knows, Caspian Terns are regularly found away from the marine realm, such as up rivers and in inland lakes. Their bulky build indicates they don’t make long-distance flight but can handle larger fish like mullet and spot.

      Royals (and Sandwich) fly out deep to feed and are thusly streamlined and slender. Neither wander inland or up rivers (barring tropical storms) and only roost along beaches. They do not feed there, along the shallows.

      One thing this causes that’s interesting is that Caspians generally fly around with their bills pointed down, looking for fish. Royals (and Sandwich) usually have their bill straight out, normally only looking down to light. It’s just a bit of jizz that I find instructive.

      Least (summer resident), Forster’s and Caspian are the three terns most often seen feeding along beaches.

      Good birding,

      Jim



      From: Cavanagh, Jim
      Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2012 11:37 AM
      To: nflbirds@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [nflbirds] St Marks National Refuge 2/29


      Yesterday, at St Marks I found a Caspian Tern in Stoney Bayou 1 which
      spent at least 4 hours on a small sand spit near the road. Nearby, at the
      southwest corner, at noon, I found a flock of over 50
      Red-breasted Mergansers divided into 2 closely knit groups that were having
      a feeding frenzy. Each group was rapidly swimming and diving. The stirred up
      water reminded me of feeding schools of fish which was my first thought.

      The drake Cinnamon Teal and the Roseate Spoonbill were still present at
      HQ Pond. The Gulf was fogged in.

      Jim Cavanagh
      Tallahassee

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