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2022 August Bird

The featured bird for August is the Royal Tern.

royal tern in flight with large shadow

The Royal Tern is most recognizable when it has its black crown all “tuft out” during breeding season.

This Royal Tern in flight is a non-breeding adult, so the black crown is a lot less pronounced. And of course, in flight all feathers are in their most aerodynamic position.

Family: Laridae
Species: Thalasseus maximus
Length: 17.7-19.7 in (45-50 cm)
Weight: 13.8-15.2 oz (390-430 g)
Wingspan: 39.4-43.3 in (100-110 cm)

This seabird lives along the coast of warm saltwater and tends to hang out in larger colonies. They built nest scrapes on the ground. Royal Tern chicks leave their nest within a day of hatching and hang out with all the other chicks. The parent will only feed its own chick – presumably recognizing its voice.

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