Sunday, August 21, 2011

One Good Tern Deserves Another

...and indeed the wifey and me saw a pair of Sterna hirundo fishing in the storm water pond near our apartment this morning.  They were after the pond's teeming population of feral goldfish.  They'd do semi circular-passes over the pond surface at about 15 meters up, and when they saw something, stall out and plunge face-first into the water to emerge with orange wriggly thing in their beak. 

Environment Canada and my old Peterson's Field Guide say they've almost been driven out of Ontario by gulls of various sorts, and certainly I've never seen them locally before.  I can't imagine them nesting this far inland either; be interesting to know what they're up to.  Seems a bit too early to migrate.

Anyway, a much finer bird than your standard shit-hawk.  Leaner and more elegant in outline.  Also more intelligent, I would imagine.  The eyes point forward  and you can see them scanning the water intently as they fly overhead.  Whereas gulls typically have a stunned and sated look, like they just ate a day old pizza slice from a garbage bin in one gulp.

Of course I left my camera at home.  You'll have to take my word for it all.

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