Sunday, June 17, 2012

Black Tern: Sky-diving skimmer

Black tern, watching me watching him.© SB  
A row of black terns sat on fence posts along a marsh, watching as I drove down the gravel road.

The terns preened, then flew up and dived down to skim the water, then surfaced, took flight and landed back on the posts, where they dried and preened. Then they skimmed the air and water surface again. And again.

Black terns are easy to identify, as long as their gray/white wings are visible.

As All About Birds says, "In breeding plumage, nothing else quite looks like it."

There were a dozen or more black terns in this part of the marsh, along with at least as many common terns. (I stopped for a picture as a cloud of them flew over, but they flew to fast for me to focus.) 

The  black terns appeared to be catching more insects from the air than creatures from the water, but their hunting ground was over the slough. 

Black tern in flight © SB 
Black tern on the slough.© SB 

What is this?  Black Tern  
Location: Near Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Photo date: June 16, 2012.  


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