Monday, 22 June 2015

Day 231 - Cracking Common Terns

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 
Hi all today's Day 231 and I have recently been at Stavely nature reserve where I saw quite a lot of things one of which is a lovely seabird bird that I haven't covered before in a post. I haven't got many photos of these as they were very flighty but hopefully they are good enough for this post. They are such a nice bird to watch and it was entertaining to watch them catch fish. Yes, I am talking about the Common Tern.

So, here are the facts:

  • They Summer all over the UK apart from South-West England, Central England, South West Wales, Central Ireland and Central & Southern Scotland.
Effortless gliding
  • They are an Amber Status bird with 12,000 breeding pairs in the UK. They are an Amber Status bird as they have a localised breeding population.
  • They are most common on Estuaries but they are also found on Shore, Lakes, Ponds, Rivers and, least commonly, streams.
    A successful hunt for food
  • Have to say I was slightly surprised to see a seabird so far inland but it seems they often breed inland unlike the Arctic Tern.
  • They have a huge typical lifespan of 12 years while the oldest was a huge 33 years and 6 days old!
  • They have a number of common names. 'Sea Swallow' and 'Darr' as well as 'Tirrick' are some of them.
  • Their Latin name Sterna hirundo translates as the Swallow Tern.
Off to hunt again.
  • It's a lovely bird to watch flying and hovering looking for fish before they dive to catch one. Fish is their main diet but sometimes they eat crustaceans.
  • They have an interesting ring size which is C2. By the way I hope to be going ringing again in July so expect a post on that in a while.
  • They 33cm long with a 88cm wingspan. Both Male and Female birds weigh, on average, 130 grams.
  • Their wingspan is basically the only way to tell apart the Sandwich Tern, this Tern and Arctic Tern. The Sandwich Tern has a wingspan of 1 metre while this one has an 88cm span and finally the Arctic has a 80cm wing length.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. I love the other names they have like Sea Swallow - very pretty! I love seeing them near the coast. - Tasha