Possible Arctic Tern

Bird sighting information. Use this forum to report bird sightings (especially rare and unusual birds), census and field count results, and trip reports. Messages posted to this forum will also be sent as a plain text email to the BIRDING-NZ newsgroup.
User avatar
imogen
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:05 pm

Possible Arctic Tern

Postby imogen » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:39 pm

Taken on Foxton Beach yesterday afternoon (14th Nov). Looked different to the wfts but not quite right for a common tern.
Arctic Tern 14112018-1.jpg
Arctic Tern 14112018-1.jpg (197.16 KiB) Viewed 924 times
Arctic Tern 14112018-3.jpg
Arctic Tern 14112018-3.jpg (174.11 KiB) Viewed 924 times
User avatar
sav
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:49 am
Location: Havelock North
Contact:

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby sav » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:56 pm

Hi Imogen,

Having taken a closer look, I don't think this can be an Arctic Tern. The white inner webs to the wings don't fit, and it's legs are short but I don't think short enough. Also the shape of the dark crown is different to any Arctic that I have seen, and the grey of the closed wings might be a shade or 2 too pale.

I wonder if this isn't just a White-fronted Tern (and maybe a small one?)

With all the uncommon terns it is really valuable to see the pattern of the underwing. And rump v back colours.

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
Clinton9
Posts: 905
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby Clinton9 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:50 pm

First summer White-fronted tern.
User avatar
imogen
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:05 pm

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby imogen » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:02 pm

This has been accepted by ebird and the UBR committee as an arctic tern.

UBR record states:
The description is short on diagnostic comparison with (nearby) white‐fronted terns, although it does
mention the focal bird being smaller, shorter‐legged and having a finer bill. These are useful pointers for
Arctic tern, to which could be added the more rounded head and the pattern of white on the inner web
of the outer primaries, with no ‘hook‐back’ of black as evident on white‐fronted terns.
User avatar
tim
Posts: 375
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 7:16 pm
Location: Napier, Hawke's Bay
Contact:

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby tim » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:31 pm

Pretty sure this is not an arctic and it doesnt even fit to be an arctic with the other white fronteds next to it with size, feet, bill and head pattern. I agree its a first summer white fronted tern, the arctics i have seen are a lot greyer and its noticable compared to white fronteds around.
Tim Rumble
User avatar
RussCannings
Posts: 734
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:23 am

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby RussCannings » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:04 am

Hi Imogen,

I can't recall who reviewed this on ebird (might have been me!) but I have to agree that the bill seems wrong for Arctic for a start. Will look into it soon.
Grahame
Posts: 229
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:48 pm
Location: Ngatea
Contact:

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby Grahame » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:08 am

Sorry Imogen, I have seen many Arctic Terns, and I'm afraid that it doesn't fit, so I have to go along with the White-fronted identification.
Grahame
User avatar
tim
Posts: 375
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 7:16 pm
Location: Napier, Hawke's Bay
Contact:

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby tim » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:33 pm

Yes but how did the UBR commitee come to the conclusion that it was Arctic when it clearly isnt in these photos.
Tim Rumble
User avatar
imogen
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:05 pm

Re: Possible Arctic Tern

Postby imogen » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:26 pm

All I know is that it looked different to the white fronted terns. I've only seen a couple of arctic tern so I couldn't say that it is one, that's why I referred it to ebird and the UBR committee after it was initially mooted on the Facebook page. The conversation is good though, learning all the time.

Return to “Bird Sightings and Alerts”