Sunday, 17 April 2016

Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)

Latin Etymology: Gelochelidon ("laughing swallow") nilotica ("of the Nile")
Five adult Gull-billed Tern (subspecies G. n. niloctica) at Laguna del Longar, Spain - April 2016

Local Names (Spain): Pagaza piconegra ("Black-beaked Tern")
Featured Subspecies: Grelochelidon nilotica nilotica
Weight: 150-292g
Length: 33-42cm
Wingspan: 76-91cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Gull-billed Tern is a comparatively powerfully built tern found sporadically across all continents except Antarctica is variable densities.  Through much of it's range, it is a coastal species, though it may breed at more inland sites. The colony I encountered was at Laguna del Longar in Toledo province, where they breed on the sandbars, although these birds were washing themselves in the fresher inlet streams closer to the hides.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Sternidae
Genus: Gelochelidon
Subspecies: G. n. niloctica, G. n. affinis, G. n. macrotarsa, G. n. aranea, G. n. vanrossemi, G. n. gronvoldi

 - Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - Local Summer Migrant
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Abundant at Laguna del Longar (at least fifteen seen around Lagoon at various times)

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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