Learned a new tern

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Tern at Blowing Rocks Preserve yesterday.

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I think this is an immature Sandwich Tern.

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A view north along the beach with calm, receding waves. The woman on her knees was digging up lots and lots of one particular kind of shell.

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This helo flies, but not like a bird. It’s only got one “wing” and that wing spins around overhead, how strange.

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It was a lovely day to just sit and watch the waves. And we did.

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Kapow!

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I watched this little bird for a bit and realized I didn’t know what it was, so I snapped a few photos. I was sort of tern-like, but smaller and chubbier than the other terns. Also, it was skimming fish off the surface, not diving.

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I posted a couple of pics to What’s This Bird and got the answer: it was a young Black Tern!

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Audubon.org

Forages in flight, dipping to surface of water or shore to pick up items, sometimes pursuing flying insects in the air, seldom plunging into water after prey.

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In breeding season it is a beautiful charcoal gray with a black head and white butt (see pic here).

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A small, graceful marsh tern, black and silver in breeding plumage. In its choice of surroundings, it leads a double life: in North America in summer it is a typical bird of freshwater marshes, but in winter it becomes a seabird along tropical coasts.

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Bird #186 has been added to my collection.

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