Forster's tern

Forster's tern

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Sterna forsteri
Life Span
16 years
WEIGHT
130-190 g
LENGTH
33-36 cm

Forster's tern is a tern in the family Laridae. The genus name Sterna is derived from Old English "stearn", "tern", and forsteri commemorates the naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster. It breeds inland in North America and winters south to the Caribbean and northern Central America. This species is rare but annual in western Europe, and has wintered in Ireland and Great Britain on a number of occasions. No European tern winters so far north. This species breeds in colonies in marshes. It nests in a ground scrape and lays two or more eggs. Like all white terns, it is fiercely defensive of its nest and young. The Forster's tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, but will also hawk for insects in its breeding marshes. It usually feeds from saline environments in winter, like most Sterna terns. It usually dives directly, and not from the "stepped-hover" favoured by the Arctic tern. The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display. This is a small tern, 33–36 cm long with a 64–70 cm wingspan and a weight ranging from 130-190 g . It is most similar to the common tern. It has pale grey upperparts and white underparts. Its legs are red and its bill is red, tipped with black. In winter, the forehead becomes white and a characteristic black eye mask remains. Juvenile Forster's terns are similar to the winter adult. The call is a harsh noise like a black-headed gull. This species is unlikely to be confused with the common tern in winter because of the black eye mask, but is much more similar in breeding plumage. Forster's has a grey centre to its white tail, and the upperwings are pure white, without the darker primary wedge of the common tern.

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Di

Diurnal

Ca

Carnivore

Pi

Piscivores

Te

Terrestrial

Co

Congregatory

Ov

Oviparous

Pr

Precocial

So

Soaring birds

Se

Seabird

Mo

Monogamy

Co

Colonial

So

Social

Mi

Migrating

F

starts with

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR

References

1. Forster's tern Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forster's_tern
2. Forster's tern on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22694646/132564836
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/666708

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