Black Tern: Dr. J. Murray Speirs

Black Tern

Black Terns breed in marshes in the Old World and in America, including much of Ontario.

Black Tern

They are very aggressive in defending their cattail marshes: hard hats are recommended – or better still, just stay away.

Black Tern

Since they often nest on floating debris, it is important not to make waves near their nesting colonies.

Black Tern

Black terns are much smaller than Common Terns. Adults have black bodies, the only white being under the tail, when in breeding plumage.

Black Tern

Flying young and winter adults are mainly white below and about the head, except for black on the nape and behind the eyes but are still much darker above than other terns.

Black Tern

In this plumage they have sometimes been misidentified as Least Terns, but these southern terns are accidental in Ontario, and show much white at the base of the tail, and on the trailing edge of the wing: adult Least Terns with their bright yellow beak and feet are distinctive.

Least Tern (photo: wikipedia)

Dr. J. Murray Speirs

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