blp shabash 430x45

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern
Photographed byJohn Barkla on Sat 16th Oct, 2010 and uploaded by Rob Parker on Sun 30th Sep, 2018 .
Resolution1400x933
Viewed6
ID32040
CommentArctic Tern (immature): Score 7%

Scientific Name: Sterna paradisaea
Summer BG: New England Tundra, N America, Europe, Greenland, Asia, Britain, N Russia
Overall Size: 32 - 38cm
Conservation Status (BWL): Vagrant

This species proved quite a challenge for our entrants. It was misidentified as Common Tern x4, White-fronted Tern x2, Little Tern x5, Saunders’s Tern x1, Lesser Sand Plover x1, Black-naped Tern x1

The Arctic Tern is distinguishable from the Common Tern by the beak shape and size. The Arctic Tern’s beak is quite straight and short, whereas the Common Tern’s beak is long and slightly down-curved. The forehead is also higher in the Arctic Tern and the neck is very short - so short it looks almost “neckless” in flight.

The Arctic Tern is distinguishable from the White-fronted Tern by the head shape. The Arctic Tern has a large head and a high forehead, whereas the White-fronted Tern has a domed head.

The Arctic Tern is distinguishable from the Little Tern by the folded wing. The folded wings of the Little Tern are shorter than the tail, whereas the Arctic Tern’s folded wings are equal to the tail. As immature Arctic Terns age, the tail will be longer than the folded wings.

The Arctic Tern is distinguishable from the Saunders's Tern by the folded wing. The Saunders’s Tern’s tail is longer than the folded wings, whereas the Arctic Tern’s folded wings are equal to the tail. As immature Arctic Terns age, the tail will be longer than the folded wings.

The Arctic Tern is distinguishable from the Black-naped Tern by the beak size. The Black-naped Tern’s beak is longer than the Arctic Tern’s beak. The legs of the Black-naped Tern are also longer than the Arctic Tern’s legs.

The Arctic Tern is distinguishable from the Lesser Sand Plover by the beak size and shape. The beak of the Lesser Sand Plover is shorter and stubbier than the Arctic Tern. The legs of the Lesser Sand Plover are also longer.
LocationMordialloc Beach (Victoria)
Keywordsadult, non-breeding plumage
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