More about Terns.

In order to get to the marsh area behind the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor by boat, we must pass under the Stone Harbor 96th Street drawbridge. Returning from the marshes the other afternoon after checking out the Osprey nests. We spotted a Forster's Tern on the red navigational light.


He sat there for 5 or so minutes while I photographed him. Got so close we bumped into the piling he was on which scared him away.

Later that afternoon, we spotted another Forster's Tern on a piling behind our house.


He scanned the shallow water in our basin for several minutes before finding a meal. He swooped down and was rewarded with a small minnow.

The Forster's Terns in these pictures and the one diving for food in "Gone fishing" are in breeding plumage (March - August).


This bird can be distinguished by the orange bill with a black tip, and a black forehead and crown. Birds in non-breading plumage lack the black cap and instead have black eye patches and a black bill. Also, the wings in breading season plumage appear very light, silvery gray in flight verses grayer wingtips when non-breading.

Gone fishing.


Took this on our boat just outside our basin in Stone Harbor. My daughter, Maureen, and I were fishing in the area and whenever a piece of squid would come off a hook or we would throw in a dead minnow, a tern would swoop down to get it.

So we went back to the house and cut up small pieces of squid, got my camera and headed back out.

Maureen tossed pieces of squid and eventually attracted what I believe is a Forster's Tern (right).

Got lucky with the shot. Catching these birds in flight…in focus…is a challenge.


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