Photos: Caspian Tern Bird Sighted In Dockyard

November 19, 2013

A local birdwatcher recently spotted a Caspian Tern at Dockyard, making for an unlikely bird sighting in Bermuda. Lynn Thorne was lucky enough to have a camera on hand at the time of the sighting, leaving her able to snap several photographs and of the rare visitor.

According to the Cornell University-created allaboutbirds.org, “as large as a big gull, the Caspian Tern is the largest tern in the world. Its large coral red bill makes it one of the most easily identified terns throughout its worldwide range.

“The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be more than 26 years old. Average life span of Great Lakes Caspian Terns is estimated to be 12 years.

“The Caspian Tern aggressively defends its breeding colony. It will pursue, attack, and chase potential predatory birds, and can cause bloody wounds on the heads of people who invade the colony. The entire colony will take flight, however, when a Bald Eagle flies overhead, exposing the chicks to predation from gulls.

“Young Caspian Terns appear to have a difficult time learning to catch fish efficiently. They stay with their parents for long periods of time, and are fed by them even on the wintering grounds. Many young terns do not return to the nesting grounds for several years, remaining instead on the wintering areas.”

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