Photo Study Of Caspian Terns At Green Lane Park (Montgomery County), September 1st, 2010
The Church Road mud flats at Green Lane Park had a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, four Baird's Sandpipers, three Pectoral Sandpipers, one Stilt Sandpiper, one White-rumped Sandpiper, a few Yellowlegs, a bunch of Killdeer and lots of Least Sandpipers today. But my day was made by a pair of Caspian Terns who put on a neat aerial display right in front of me this evening. Also, one evening earlier this week, a record 43 Caspian Terns were hanging out at Green Lane.
The Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) is the world's largest tern with a length of 18.5–21.3 inches, a wingspan of 47.2–53.1 inches and a weight of 18.7–27.6 oz . Adult birds have black legs, and a long thick red-orange bill with a small black tip. They have a white head with a black cap and white neck, belly and tail. The upper wings and back are pale grey; the underwings are pale with dark primary feathers. In flight, the tail is less forked than other terns and wing tips black on the underside. In winter, the black cap is still present (unlike many other terns), but with some white streaking on the forehead. The call is a loud heron-like croak. The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be more than 26 years old. Average life span of Great Lakes Caspian Terns is estimated to be 12 years.Their breeding habitats are large lakes and ocean coasts in North America (including the Great Lakes), and locally in Europe (mainly around the Baltic and Black Seas), Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. North American birds migrate to southern coasts, the West Indies and northernmost South America. European and Asian birds spend the non-breeding season in the Old World tropics. African and Australasian birds are resident or disperse over short distances. (Cornell BNA; Wikipedia)
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Howard B. Eskin 2010 Please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Please click here to go back to Bird Webpage Index