There are two Terns that breed along the Massachusetts in coast large numbers, the Common Tern and the Least Tern. We do see other species, but they are uncommon. I happened to be on the shore of Plum Island Sound when a large group of Terns were feeding right near the shore. The Least Terns are actually nesting on the beach, while the Common Terns are coming in from elsewhere. All the activity gave me plenty of opportunities for some action photos. These are a few that I managed to get.
Most of the photos are of Common Terns, but there were a few Least Terns as well. The Least Terns are smaller but the easiest way to identify the Tern you are seeing is to look at the head. The Least Terns have a yellow bill with a black tip and white forehead.
The Common Tern has a red-orange bill with a black tip and no white on the forehead.
Terns are long distance migrants and their long wings reflect that.
Terns hover over an area where there are schools of small fish and then dive in to grab one. I couldn’t get a shot of them as they hit the water. But these are some before and after pictures.
Next post…an interesting Tern action sequence.