Tony Keene birds.co.uk Tony Keene birds.co.uk where I'm based
 
 Artwork
      Paintings
      Sketches
 
 Photography
      Australian Birds
      Japanese Birds
      New Zealand Birds
      Swiss Birds
      British Birds
      Birds Elsewhere
      Hybrid Birds
      Escaped Birds
 
      Taxonomic list
 
      Australian Mammals   New!
      Australian Reptiles
      Australian Frogs
 
 Trip Reports
 
 Translation guide
 
All images are subject to copyright (unless otherwise stated) and may not be used or reproduced without permission.

Whiskered Tern
Chlidonias hybridus

Whiskered Terns belong to a group known as marsh terns, along with Black Terns and White-winged Terns, and are fairly small at 23 - 25 cm in length. They are generally found inland in Australia, although can be seen coastally when on migration to Indonesia and sometimes at estuaries. They range from Europe, through Asia, Africa and on into Australasia - birds in the more northern and southern regions migrate and those in tropics usually stay put. As with other terns, their diet consists mostly of fish that are caught in dives, but they also eat insects and amphibians. Unlike the other marsh terns, Whiskered are much lighter in colour and look more like Sterna terns, hence the hybridus part of the scientific name, although the Black-fronted Tern of New Zealand has now been added to this genus and looks even more Sterna-like. The birds in these two photos are non-breeding: breeding adults have full black caps, which juveniles have darker patches on the wings.
 

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern

1-2: Greenfields Wetlands, Mawson Lakes, SA, 13/10/2012.