Elegant Tern

The Elegant Tern is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. It breeds on the Pacific coasts of the southern USA and Mexico and winters south to Peru, Ecuador and Chile.

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The Elegant Tern is classified as Near Threatened (NT), is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.

Distribution of the Elegant Tern in North and Central America. This medium-sized tern with a long, shaggy crest, a pink flush on its belly-feathers, and a distinctive bill, has the most restricted breeding distribution of any tern in North America (see Fig. 1). It nests in isolated mainland or insular colonies, among larger, more aggressive larids—primarily Heermann’s Gulls (Larus heermanni) and Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia). More

represented here by the mid-sized Elegant Tern (group top of page) of the Pacific Coast of California and west Mexico. It is one of six species of "crested" terns found along tropical and temperate coastlines around the globe. All the "crested terns" nest in very dense colonies with incubating adults just a body length apart. Despite what you may see in field guides, there is quite a bit of variation in bill (and leg) color in young Elegant Terns, as can be seen in the photo. More

The Elegant Tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, almost invariably from the sea, like most Thalasseus 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. More

The Lesser Crested Tern and Elegant Tern differ in having all-orange bills; Lesser Crested also differs in having a grey rump and marginally stouter bill, and Elegant in having a slightly longer, slenderer bill. Chinese Crested Tern is the most similar to Sandwich, but has a reversal of the bill colour, yellow with a black tip; it does not overlap in range with Sandwich Tern so confusion is unlikely. In winter, the adult Sandwich Tern's forehead becomes white. More

Although Elegant Tern was considered a strong possibility at this point, the rump color had not been seen, the bill seemed a bit stocky, and in the images taken on the 15th, the mantle appeared rather dark (similar in shade to the adjacent Common Terns). Fortunately, the bird was present again for an extended period on the morning of 17 August and was studied at length from close range by many observers. Numerous additional digital still and video images were obtained at this time. More

Lyn, Gretch Olcott, and Marty Kelley found this Elegant Tern at Ft. DeSoto Park's Gulf Pier on 12/2/00. It was seen sporadically at the park for about a month before it disappeared. This tern was in its first year (based on the extent of dark trailing edge to secondaries), so was not the same as the Elegant which appeared in fall 1999 at Honeymoon Island SRA, establishing FL's first verifiable state record. On 12/22/00, Clay Kelsey located the Elegant Tern at Ft. More

the Pacific Coast of the United States, the Elegant Tern was first found nesting in San Diego, California in 1959 and has since expanded northward, while simultaneously disappearing from former nesting sites in Mexico. Appearance: Elegant Terns weigh an average of nine ounces, and are 17 inches long, with a wingspan of 34 inches. These medium-sized terns have long orange bills, black caps with shaggy crests, light gray upper parts, white under parts that sometimes include a pink flush on the belly-feathers, and black legs. More

Elegant Tern: Breeds only in five breeding colonies: three in southern California, and two in northwestern Mexico. Spends winters along the Pacific coast from central Mexico to Chile. Preferred habitats include shallow estuaries and bays. Listen to Call Voice Text "karreck, karreck, karreck" Interesting Facts * Elegant Terns are highly social and very vocal, especially when feeding in flocks. More

The Elegant Tern has the smallest breeding range of any North American tern. There are only 5 colonies of this bird, three in coastal California and two on islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Four of these 5 were established in the last 50 years. Favored nesting habitat is low, flat, sandy areas largely bare of vegetation. More

orange bill, the Elegant Tern is seen along the Pacific Coast. After nesting in very southern California and Mexico, it wanders northward to northern California, or even to British Columbia. More

The elegant tern is a medium-sized and rather striking tern, with a black cap and a distinctive long, shaggy crest. The upperparts and wings are light grey, and the underparts white, often suffused with rosy pink on the belly (2) (3) (4). The beak is particularly long and slender, with a slight downward curve, and varies from yellow-orange in the female to bright orange-red in the male. The legs and feet are usually black, but in some individuals are orange. More

Juvenile Elegant Terns have a scalier pale grey back. The call is a characteristic loud grating noise like a Sandwich Tern. This bird could be confused with the Royal Tern, but the latter species is larger and thicker-billed and shows more white on the forehead in winter. Out of range, it can also be easily confused with the Lesser Crested Tern. See also Orange-billed tern, and the external link below. More

Elegant Tern, Common Tern & Franklin's Gull Name: Elegant-tern1802.jpg Date: 2008 Author: Peter de Haas Photo: Peter de Haas Department: Lima Birding Site: Arenillas Lagoon, La Punta, Callao File: Elegant-tern1802.jpg (0 bytes) Comments: Name: Elegant Tern. More

North American RangeThe Elegant Tern is a fairly large, slim tern, with a long, orange, slightly drooping bill. It has narrow, angled wings, a deeply forked tail, and a shaggy crest. The adult in breeding plumage has a gray mantle, white breast and belly, and white face with a black, crested cap. The legs are black. The adult in non-breeding plumage is similar, but with a white forehead that darkens to streaky black, as if the cap has receded. More

Elegant Terns are thought not to breed until they reach three years of age, and it is expected that they have long lifespans, though there is little actual data to evaluate this. High tides can wash away nests, and competition for nests sites occurs with several gull and tern species. The Birdzilla. More

Bent Life History for the Elegant Tern - the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written. ELEGANT TERN STERNA ELEGANS (Gambel) HABITS This beautiful tern well deserves its name, for in color, form, and behavior it is certainly one of the most elegant of our sea birds, the most exquisite member of the charming group of "sea swallows. More

Elegant Tern Flock (Thalasseus elegans) flock on Morro Strand = Elegant Tern Flock (Thalasseus elegans) flock on Morro Strand by mikebaird.Elegant Tern Flock (Thalasseus elegans) flock on Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay, CA. 08 Oct. 2008. Michael "Mike" L. Baird, Canon 5D 300mm f/2.8 IS handheld. More

Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) on Morro Strand Elegant Tern - Fotopedia mikebaird on Flickr Elegant Tern Flock (Thalasseus elegans) flock on Morro Strand Elegant Tern - Fotopedia mikebaird on Flickr Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) with a fish in beak Elegant Tern - Fotopedia mikebaird on Flickr Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) parent feeding a fish to her youngster Elegant Tern - Fotopedia mikebaird on Flickr 1 of 2 Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) parent bringing More

The Elegant Tern is one of the group of crested terns and has the longest crest of all. Their slender yellow-orange bill appears to droop slightly at the tip. The adult in summer plumage has a black cap with long nuchal crest. The under parts may have a pink tinge, which in such cases is diagnostic in comparison with other more red- billed Terns. Some have darker central primaries contrasting with paler surrounding ones. More

Elegant Tern colony on Isla Rasa, taken from Ocean Oasis film, More

Elegant Tern at San Pedro center before release. (Jay... Click to show "Elegant Tern" result 2 550 x 350 10 kb Elegant Tern Click to show "Elegant Tern" result 3 240 x 180 66 kb Elegant Tern Click to show "Elegant Tern" result 4 600 x 400 342 kb Elegant Tern Picture taken near the public Pier at Spud... More

Elegant Tern is among the most numerous. The Royal Tern also nests there, in much smaller numbers and perhaps only irregularly. The two species are similar in many ways, similar enough to raise a problem in identification. Their external differences are more in size and shape than in pattern of plumage, making an intimate familiarity with the birds and their habits all the more important in identifying them. More

Elegant Tern - Definition = Elegant Tern Conservation status: Lower Risk (nt) Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Order: Charadriiformes Family: Sternidae Genus: Sterna Species: elegans Binomial name More

Picture of Sterna elegans above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike.
Original source: Regular Daddy
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Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Laridae
Genus : Sterna
Species : elegans
Authority : Gambel, 1849