Posts Tagged ‘Hydroprogne caspia’

When I first saw this bird on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I thought it was a type of gull. However, its flying pattern—it repeatedly flew low above the water— suggested to me that it was some other kind of bird. When I looked at my photos afterwards and checked my bird identification book, I concluded that it was most likely some kind of tern.

When I posted an image to a birding forum in Facebook, one of the experts there informed me that it was a Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), a bird that I had never before seen. He pointed out “the heavy red bill, extensive black on the underside of the primaries, short tail, and full black cap” that indicated that this was a Caspian Tern and not the somewhat similar-looking Royal Tern.

As the summer begins to wind down, I will gradually shift my attention from insects to birds as my primary subjects. In the meantime, I will still be focused a lot on my beloved dragonflies and butterflies, with an occasional tern (or re-tern) to the birds.  🙂

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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