Royal Terns seem to tower over Common Terns.


(Update: 05/22/2015—after reading more on my terns I now strongly suspect the large bird on the left is a Caspian: redder bill, slightly stockier, lighter color on the primaries. Can you ever trust me again on a bird ID? I wouldn’t 🙂 )

In the foreground, a non-breeding (and defocused) Common Tern with the rest in various stages of transition. Commons are migrants on the UTC, summering in Canada and wintering all along the South American coastline. Royals’ year-round range is from Cuba to the southern coastlines of South America. They winter on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and summer in the northeastern US and southern tip of South America.

royal-tern-with-catch-04-20-2015Royal Tern

Here’s a Royal with his catch-of-the-minute.