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   Possible Arctic Tern - Sandy Hook - July 4, 2013 - 8:10-14am


On adult resting with Common Tern at the bay of the false hook. Distance about 40 yards.  At one time seem to interact with Common Tern, screamed at adjacent COTE adult. The vocalization was not unlike COTE (but very short, apparently an aggression call).


I am quite sure that it was a ARTE. I am familiar with the species for many years in West and North Europe and have seen it in Maine. I managed to observe the birds for about 4 minutes and took some distant photos. Light was opposite.


The birds took off and flew directly away from me (to E) and I lost it quickly and was not able to observe the flight pattern (e.g. the translucent primaries)


Field marks seen at standing bird:

1. shorter legs in direct in comparison to COTE

2. red bill without black tip, bill was shorter and appeared to be darker red than adjacent COTEs.

The photos seem to indicate a tiny black speck on the tip of the upper mandible. I did not see this with binoculars (Zeiss 10x40)

3. darker grey breast and whitish cheeks appeared to be more contrasting than in COTE


Caveat: Tail streamers were not longer as wingtip at rest but as long.







vocalizing to flying COTE nearby overhead



again briefly vocalizing



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Copyright 2011 Fusion Ecology Lab
Last modified: 07/10/2013