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Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-01-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/1600 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-03-26 7:49
Viewed: 1556
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia, formerly Sterna caspia) is a species of tern, with a subcosmopolitan but scattered distribution. Despite its extensive range, it is monotypic of its genus, and has no subspecies accepted either.

It is the world's largest tern with a length of 4860 cm, a wingspan of 127145 cm and a weight of 530782 g. Adult birds have black legs, and a long thick red-orange bill with a small black tip. They have a white head with a black cap and white neck, belly and tail. The upper wings and back are pale grey; the underwings are pale with dark primary feathers. In flight, the tail is less forked than other terns and wing tips black on the underside. In winter, the black cap is still present (unlike many other terns), but with some white streaking on the forehead. The call is a loud heron-like croak.

Distribution and habitat
Their breeding habitat is large lakes and ocean coasts in North America (including the Great Lakes), and locally in Europe (mainly around the Baltic Sea and Black Sea), Asia, Africa, and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). North American birds migrate to southern coasts, the West Indies and northernmost South America. European and Asian birds spend the non-breeding season in the Old World tropics. African and Australasian birds are resident or disperse over short distances.
The global population is about 50,000 pairs; numbers in most regions are stable, but the Baltic Sea population (14001475 pairs in the early 1990s) is declining and of conservation concern.

The Caspian Tern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

They feed mainly on fish, which they dive for, hovering high over the water and then plunging. They also occasionally eat large insects, the young and eggs of other birds and rodents. They may fly up to 60 km from the breeding colony to catch fish; it often fishes on freshwater lakes as well as at sea.

Breeding is in spring and summer, with one to three pale blue green eggs, with heavy brown spotting, being laid. They nest either together in colonies, or singly in mixed colonies of other tern and gull species. The nest is on the ground among gravel and sand, or sometimes on vegetation; incubation lasts for 2628 days. The chicks are variable in plumage pattern, from pale creamy to darker grey-brown; this variation assists adults in recognizing their own chicks when returning to the colony from feeding trips. Fledging occurs after 3545 days.

Source: Wikipedia

lovenature, Hotelcalifornia, peter_stoeckl, marius-secan, iti, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-03-26 9:29]

Hello Peter,
I believe this Caspian Tern is just about at his maximum carrying limit with this rather large fish. A beautifully marked bird with black legs, cap, wing tips and bill tip. This contrasts nicely with it's mostly white body and a bit of light gray in it's upper wings. Sharply focused and painted against a pretty blue sky for a BG.

hallo Peter
Mooie opname zo in de lucht met deze blauwe achtergrond,leuk hem zo te zien met een vis in zijn bek

bedankt gr lou

Ciao Peter, great capture of beautiful bird with its prey, perfect focus, wonderful natural colors, fine details and splebdid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-03-27 1:39]

Hi Peter,beautiful in flight capture of this tern and its dinner,great timing and impressive sharpness,i'm just back from Senegal and now i know how is difficult to take birds..ehehe...Happy Easter and thanks for share,Luciano

Hello Peter
You captured this Caspian Tern with perfect timing, exposure and detail. Love the fish in his mouth which add much interest. A successful hunter. Great notes too.
TFS Janice

Hello Peter,
Always a difficult shot when you don't know from where the bird is flying and which way it'll go. My photograph is rather easy, because I knew its destination. Good underwing details and well composed against blue sky.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Peter,
successful capture, successfully capured!
A perfect capture in motion with great details.
A heavy prey to carry away in flight, indeed.
Looks like a catfish - and delicious, too.
Thank you! With best regards,

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2016-03-29 8:28]

Hallo Lou,
Great Capture!
Beautiful photo with very good composition and good sharpness.
Best wishes,

Hello Peter,
Excellent capture with a nice specie. Perfect focus, details and clarity.
It is a high quality image. A great luck to catch it from a close range.
Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2016-03-30 10:13]

Hi Peter,
Very good moment captured this Tern. Nice colors and excellent sharpness details.
Regards Jiri.

Hello Peter

WOW ! Great catch, both for your and for this aspian Tern,
fine POV and framing, great focus, sharpness, and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • periko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 70 W: 2 N: 145] (1487)
  • [2016-04-19 23:39]

Hi Peter
A flying bird is a difficult target, but you have achieved a great result. Interesting subject.


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