Thursday, 10 May 2012

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

Latin Etymology: Sternula ("diminutive of Sterna - black tern) albifrons ("white forehead")
Adult Little Tern (subspecies S. a. albifrons) at Rye Harbour, Kent - May 2012

Featured Subspecies: Sterna albifrons albifrons
Weight: 50g  /  Length: 20-28cm  /  Wingspan: 45-55cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Little Tern is the smallest and one of the rarest species of Tern in the UK - it requires undisturbed shingle on while to nest which is difficult to find in this modern age - with dog walkers and the like disturbing them preventing them from nesting, and as a species which is a notoriously poor breeder this is a bit of a problem.  They are much smaller than other terns found in the UK, and the telltale sign is their yellow beak with a black tip which gives them away.   A charming little bird, the best places to see them are protected sites where fences keep them safe from predators and humans.

Related Species:
Family: Sternidae
Genus: Sternula
Subspecies: S. a. albifrons, S. a. guineae, S. a. sinensis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare and very local breeding Summer migrant (1,900 pairs)
 - Birds seen at publicized colony at Rye Harbour in May 2015
ITALY - Italian - Fraticello
A rare breeder
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Seen from Syracuse 

Further Notes: 
BirdForum OpusIUCN Red-ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

No comments:

Post a comment