Fairy and Crested Terns

I’ve recently enjoyed seeing terns more often than usual and this week’s post features a Fairy Tern and two Crested Terns.


Fairy Tern with fish Fairy Tern with fish


Watching Fairy Terns was pure delight as they flew quickly and gracefully across the sky. They are about 24cm bill to tail and weigh about 40g. They eat mainly fish which they catch after diving steeply from a height of between 3-10m. They swallow their catch head first, or carry it back to their nestlings as in the image above.


201501231816_0315-Edit-3_Crested Tern


The Crested Tern above had just bathed in the shallows and was returning to its rocky perch. The two white bands are waves breaking over the shallows and over rocks in the foreground.


Whiskered Tern - Kim WormaldCrested Tern


Crested Terns are about twice the size of Fairy Terns but are still remarkably graceful. Crested Terns are listed as Near Threatened in Victoria while Fairy Terns are Vulnerable – such a shame that we are impacting the well-being of our birds. People, vehicles and dogs can have a devastating impact on nesting colonies. I’m sure this sometimes happens without the people realising what they have done as nestlings are extremely well camouflaged.

I’d like to remind readers that my images are available free of charge for conservation purposes.

Happy birding, Kim


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