Tern ID please ...

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Mtn Breeze
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Tern ID please ...

Postby Mtn Breeze » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:46 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm not very good on sea and shore birds, doing most of my bird photography further inland.
Can someone please help out with this bird ....

Thanks, Matt.

1.

Image


2.

Image
At least it's not raining !!


http://www.wildnaturenewzealand.co.nz/
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Adam C
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Re: Tern ID please ...

Postby Adam C » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:33 am

Having still to see one I'm no expert but looks like a good candidate for White Winged Black Tern to me. I'm sure somebody else will jump in and confirm either way soon though. Nice shots.
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
Steve Wood
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Re: Tern ID please ...

Postby Steve Wood » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:43 am

Juv Black fronted Tern.
Davidthomas
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Re: Tern ID please ...

Postby Davidthomas » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:28 am

Steve’s correct.

This bird in question is a blackfronted tern for a few reasons.

One: it has an overwhelmingly grey upper wing, which rules out white winged black tern as they’re much more black and grey, a deeper grey across the majority of the wing with dark black primaries than the bird in question. Furthermore their scalloping on the back is much darker and more extensive than in black fronted terns.

Two: it has extensive grey on the front and underwing, with an almost sooty bib. A white winged black tern wouldn’t exhibit any of this grey, with a much whiter belly and chest.

Three: it has a very streaky cap with a smudgy black earmuff, you’d expect a much clearer black earmuff and less extensive streaking in the cap and a much darker black.

And another thought for me is just how contrasting white the rump is relative to the tail of the bird, usually is expect a white winged black to have a much whiter tail overall with darker outer edges.

Someone who’s more familiar with them is welcome to correct me on my above points, but these are my impressions anyway from field observation and some quick photo googling ;)
andrewcrossland
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Re: Tern ID please ...

Postby andrewcrossland » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:23 pm

The easiest way to ID medium sized terns is to look at the back, rump and tail.

A Black-fronted Tern has a grey back, white rump, grey tail.

A White-winged Black Tern has a grey back, white rump, white tail

A Whiskered Tern has a grey back, grey back and grey tail.

White-winged Black Terns often have variable amounts of black speckling on the under-sides of their wings (called "dalmatian" plumage). Their "ear patch" is more vertical than horizontal. Here's some pics that might help ID them (I'll show some Whiskered Tern ones in my next post):

WW Bl Tern2.JPG
WW Bl Tern2.JPG (18.85 KiB) Viewed 273 times


WW Bl Tern3.JPG
WW Bl Tern3.JPG (37.89 KiB) Viewed 273 times


WW Bl Tern4.JPG
WW Bl Tern4.JPG (31.12 KiB) Viewed 273 times
Last edited by andrewcrossland on Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
andrewcrossland
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Re: Tern ID please ...

Postby andrewcrossland » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:26 pm

Ok, so the other possibility when you see an odd-looking medium-sized tern is Whiskered Tern, which I think are slightly more frequent in NZ than we think but they're overlooked as people aren't often thinking of them. The grey back, grey rump, grey tail is fairly obvious - ie; no contrasting bright white rump of the B/F Tern Here;s some pics of what to look for in non-breeding plumage:

Whiskered Tern4.JPG
Whiskered Tern4.JPG (40.9 KiB) Viewed 272 times


Whiskered Tern2.JPG
Whiskered Tern2.JPG (32.72 KiB) Viewed 273 times


Whiskered Tern3.JPG
Whiskered Tern3.JPG (22.84 KiB) Viewed 273 times
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Adam C
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Re: Tern ID please ...

Postby Adam C » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:07 pm

Great info and pics DT & AC.

Not sure how I made the possible WWB call on this. Think I was... (don't tell anybody) driving and on my phone :lol: Looking at the bottom pic the juv WFT speckled brown is pretty obvious! Don't bird and drive...you'll spill your drink! ;)
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
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tim
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Re: Tern ID please ...

Postby tim » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:30 pm

Juvenile BFT I guess you were meaning Adam ;) maybe a typo on the WFT
Tim Rumble

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