Australian Tern

Discussion about the evolution, relationships, and naming of New Zealand birds
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Australian Tern

Postby ledzep » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:03 pm

I note the IOC 9.2 checklist has split the Australian Tern (Gelochelidon macrotarsa) off from the Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) based on morphological differences. Are the NZ Gull-billed Tern sightings of the new Australian Tern species?
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Re: Australian Tern

Postby BruceW » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:27 am

According to the Birds of NZ app, the NZ sightings were assumed to be the Australian resident race (now Australian Tern) but notes that these could have been the Asian race of the Gull-billed Tern. As both species occur near Melbourne in Victoria, although there are far fewer of the Asian species than the Australian species, there's no reason why both species couldn't occur in NZ. Some background reading for info ... darwin.pdf
Colin Miskelly
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Re: Australian Tern

Postby Colin Miskelly » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:33 pm

Hi Duncan

As noted under 'Geographical variation' for gull-billed tern on NZ Birds Online"

"There are six subspecies spread throughout the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. The Australian form macrotarsa visits New Zealand periodically. The Asian form affinis is regularly seen in Australia and could potentially occur here too."

Nga mihi

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