Caspian Terns

I’m in the process of preparing the series of playful kites but ran out of time, thanks in part to the Lake Mungo road being closed and me having to make alternative plans. Caspian Terns feature instead, what neat looking birds they are!


Caspian Tern with fish - Kim Wormald

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
1/1250, f8.0, ISO 200 – Canon 7DII

Caspian Terns are Australia’s largest tern reaching up to 60cm and weighing almost 700g. Their wings are crazily long and slender, and enable them to be agile in flight, which is particularly useful when smaller terns hassle them in the hope they’ll drop their fish. The image above was taken at Mud Islands and shows the extraordinary length of the wing.


Caspian Tern - Kim Wormald
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
1/1000, f8.0, ISO 200 – Canon 7DII

Caspian Terns have large red bills. During the breeding season the tern is white with grey wings and darker flight feathers, and they have a shaggy little crest of black feathers which show up quite well in the image above. They dive for fish, which are often eaten before they re-emerge from their dive. During the breeding season Caspian Terns either carry fish or swallow them whole and regurgitate them for the nestlings.

Weather permitting I might be meeting a new species this week, though that can never truly be planned, which is one of my favourite things about birding.

Happy birding



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