Sunday, August 14, 2011

Common Tern

Like Laughing Gulls, terns are a notable feature of summers along New Jersey's waterways. Two species in particular predominate. One, the Forster's Tern, is often seen along the coast but seems to prefer inland waterways and marshes. The second, Common Tern, adheres more strictly to coastal beaches.

Terns are noted for their foraging behavior, in which they repeatedly hover and then plunge headfirst into the water for fish. Their pointed bills and forked tails give them a sleeker appearance than gulls, their closest relatives in the avian evolutionary tree.

Always remember to watch your back during preening.