Sunday, 12 September 2010

Black Tern (Chlidonias Niger)

Juvenile Black Tern (subspecies C. n. niger) at Rutland Water, Rutland - September 2010

OTHER NAMES: Short-tailed tern, Semipalmated tern, Sea pigeon
Featured Subspecies: Chlidonias niger niger
Weight: 50-60g
Length: 23-28cm
Wingspan: 61cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Black Terns are passage migrants that can be seen over reservoirs and lakes during migration times. Seeing them is about being in the right place at the right time and photographing them will depend on convenience of distance.  The bird here is a juvenile, it is the adults in breeding plumage who are entirely sooty black as the name suggests.  They are the only species of the "Marsh Terns" who are consistently seen in the UK.  Generally my experience of Black Terns is that though at the right time of the year they aren't that difficult to see, they tend to remain fairly distant to hides for the sake of getting good views.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Sternidae
Genus: Chlidonias
Subspecies: C. n. niger, C. n. surinamensis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Scarce passage migrant (in the hundreds)
 - Seen on passage at Rutland Water and Summerleys

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

1 comment:

  1. They can also be encountered at the coast as they tag along with other Terns as well.

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