Graceful tern, teach me to look over the waters of my life, knowing when to dive in and when to fly on.
Hello friends! Welcome to birthday week post #3, this week my regular posts for paid subscribers are going to everyone as mentioned in the last two posts. Today I’m highlighting some of the most joyful birds that migrate through my world, the terns. Terns are birds of the wetlands, lakes and ocean shores. They are aerial acrobats, diving much like osprey from high over the water, plunging full speed into the water to catch fish. They have screeching voices and they are very vocal in asserting themselves among their mates.
Here are some of the terns I saw this spring:
The small black terns are so beautiful in the spring when their whole body is black. They lose that black in the fall, returning as white and gray birds with only a smudge of black over their eye. I managed one photo as most of the time they were out in the middle of the lake - but still it’s a joy to see them even if it’s just for a moment. The medium-sized Forster’s terns with their long, forked tails. These birds are masters of spinning and diving and love to land on the buoys. (Also note the cottonwood floating in the air, the current cause of my overactive allergies - but also a great nesting material for many small birds!) Forster’s terns like to play “king of the buoy”, because the best buoy always seems to be an occupied buoy! I’ve never seen one knock another off, but they sure do come close. They are VERY clear in their communication about what they want - and about what they will accept. They dive straight down into the water - usually too far out for me to get a decent photo of them. Even highly cropped, I think this gives you an idea! This one hadn’t changed into his full breeding plumage yet. Coming out of the water - and giving a little shake to get the water off his wings. Speaking of wings, they really do have angel wings. The largest - and loudest! - of the terns, the Caspian terns with their big carrot bills. Caspian terns also go straight into the water And often emerge with a good size fish! I’ve written about terns before, last year, when it seems like I had more sightings and better photos and in 2020 when I had a banded tern in the fall . Someday I need to post the photos, video and story about the time I helped rescue a juvenile Caspian tern and got to release him with a flock or the time the fishermen at the dock helped feed a youngster until he was strong enough to join a flock headed south. What a privilege it is to occasionally be able to help these birds that bring such joy. I already can’t wait until they return in the fall!
Wishing you all many joys, large and small!
I learn sooo much from your posts and photos. Thanks!!
Love the Terns… they are amazing ❤️😍👍