Saturday, September 29, 2012
BIRDING THE BEACH
The Elegant is larger than the Royal, and its bill is more orange-red and thicker and less down-turned; even knowing this, when I look at a flock of Terns, they look alike, unless there is a larger Royal Tern (the bigger one) standing next to the smaller Elegant Tern. Recently, a very talented birder told me, if I am remembering correctly, to look at the eye. On the Elegant Tern the black touches the eye, whereas there is a slight space between the eye and the black on the Royal Tern. In the above photo the three Terns, to the rear, appear to have a slight space between the eye and the black, so they may be Royal Terns (I think). My Tern ID skills still need honing.