ELEGANT TERN

ELEGANT TERN (Thalasseus elegans) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Elegant Tern is mainly white with a black cap and a thin orange bill. The legs are black. The bird is around 16 inches (40 cm) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Thalasseus-elegans
NAME: The name ‘Tern’ is from Old Norwegian ‘taerne’ for this species. The Latin genus name ‘Thalasseus’ means ‘sea’.
HABITAT: Usually coastal waters.
DIET: Dives from the air to catch fish or invertebrates.
NESTING: Dense colonies on small sandy or rocky islands. Usually one light beige egg is laid, incubated by both parents. Chick likely fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range: Pacific coast of Mexico and southern USA. Wintering range: Pacific coast of South America. Some vagrants have been able to reach Hawaii.
CONSERVATION: This species is listed as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN, but currently the population appears stable. Threats include predation on nests, habitat loss and pollution of their marine environments.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Royal Tern, Caspian Tern
REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elegant_tern
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Elegant_Tern/id
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/elegant-tern
http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/elegant_tern
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/467/overview/Elegant_Tern.aspx
https://www.sdnhm.org/oceanoasis/fieldguide/ster-ele.html (San Diego Natural History Museum)

Elegant Tern - Moss Landing, CA - Sept. 24, 2016 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern – Moss Landing, CA – Sept. 24, 2016 – photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern in flight - Moss Landing, CA - Sept. 24, 2016 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern in flight – Moss Landing, CA – Sept. 24, 2016 – photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern flying - CA - Sept. 24, 2016 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern flying – CA – Sept. 24, 2016 – photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern in flight - Moss Landing, CA -Sept.24, 2016 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern in flight – Moss Landing, CA -Sept.24, 2016 – photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern flying - Moss Landing, CA - 24 sept. 2016 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern flying – Moss Landing, CA – 24 sept. 2016 – photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern in flight near Moss Landing, CA - 24 sept. 2016 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Elegant Tern in flight near Moss Landing, CA – 24 sept. 2016 – photo by Roberta Palmer