Skip to Content

Tern, Lesser-crested

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2015)
Posts: 2511
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Tern, Lesser-crested

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:45 pm

Image

When we see lesser crested terns here in South Africa it is normally outside of their breeding season when it has a patch of white on the forehead and crown and the downward-curving bill is orange-yellow. Lesser crested terns (Sterna bengalensis) have black legs and feet are with yellow webs. They are most often encountered along the KZN coast but a few individuals have ventured as far south as False Bay, WC.

They forage at high tide in mid-morning or late afternoon, no further than six kilometres from the coast. They feed mainly on fish, but supplement their diet by squid and crustaceans. It hunts alone or in mixed-species flocks of up to 400 birds, catching its prey by dipping the bill into the water whilst in flight, or by plunge-diving and submerging the whole body after a short hover in the air.

During a pelagic trip that went "rough" off Durban in December last year, we were "forced" by the quirks of Ma Nature to bird the harbour. We found these LCT on a cement block near the end of our return trip. The LCTs had grey-headed gulls and a Swift tern for company.
727 Latest lifers: Hartlaub's babbler, Chirping cisticola, Coppery-tailed coucal, Red-billed spurfowl, White-browed coucal, Scharlow's turaco, Copper sunbird, Long-toed lapwing, Eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Malagasy pond heron, Soft-plumaged petrel.

User avatar
Elsa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 14915
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Sheffield Beach KZN North Coast, South Africa

Re: Tern, Lesser-crested

Unread post by Elsa » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:50 am

Very nice sighting and pic Johan! :thumbs_up:

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4968
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Re: Tern, Lesser-crested

Unread post by wildtuinman » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:31 am

Image
675
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Sabina01 at 21:36:07
orpen
Submitted by Ralf at 07:48:05
satara
Submitted by Ralf at 07:48:49
nossob
Submitted by Nkulu at 07:40:09