Posts Tagged: Non breeding Royal Tern in flight

Non Breeding Adult Royal Terns

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Royal Tern, non breeding adult in flight against blue sky with wings in down stroke (sandra calderbank)

In winter, non-breeding adult Royal Terns show different types of plumage. Both these Royal Terns were captured on camera in March on the same day, but at different times. They were spotted in flight over the water’s edge at Florida’s Stick Marsh. I believed there were two distinct types of waterbirds, but upon closer examination, I realized they were non-breeding Royal Terns with different feather color patterns. The deciding factor was the solid orange bill. The Royal Tern, a large graceful seabird with a forked tail, develops a dark black shaggy crest when breeding.



Non Breeding Adult royal Tern inflight against blue sky (sandra calderbank)