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Bird Sternula albifrons (Little Tern)


Lofty Wiseman
Jul 12, 2012
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south west sydney
Scientific name: Sternula albifrons

Common Name: Little Tern

Order: Charadriiformes

Family: Laridae

Other Names: Black-lored Tern, the Sea Swallow, or the White-shafted Ternlet.

Distribution: In Australia, it breeds from Tasmania to the Gulf of Carpentaria and has bred in the Coorong and near Adelaide, South Australia. It has been recorded across Northern Australia to Shark Bay, Western Australia

Habitat: The Little Tern is mainly coastal, being found on beaches, sheltered inlets, estuaries, lakes, sewage farms, lagoons, river mouths and deltas.

Seasonal movements: The Little Tern is migratory. Substantial numbers move north from the far south-east after breeding. In Australia generally, except in the south-west, it is almost exclusively coastal

Field Notes: Mainly white with a dark crown, pale grey back and upperwings. The eye is dark brown. When breeding, the bill is yellow, the crown black with a short, pointed white brow and the black eye-line reaches the bill. In non-breeding plumage, the crown is mottled with white and the bill blackish. The wing tips are two-toned grey to black on the outer primaries (flight feathers). The sexes are similar and immature birds are similar to non-breeding adults with upper wings and back mottled grey and brown.

Source: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Sternula-albifrons

Photo taken by Becki @ Garie Beach, Royal National Park, NSW October 2010