Thursday, 10 May 2012

Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

Adult Little Tern (subspecies S. a. albifrons) at Rye Harbour, Kent - May 2012

Featured Subspecies: Sterna albifrons albifrons
Weight: 50g
Length: 20-28cm
Wingspan: 45-55cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Little Tern is the smallest and one of the rarest species of Tern in the UK - it requires undisturbed shingle on while to nest which is difficult to find in this modern age - with dog walkers and the like disturbing them preventing them from nesting, and as a species which is a notoriously poor breeder this is a bit of a problem.  They are much smaller than other terns found in the UK, and the telltale sign is their yellow beak with a black tip which gives them away.   A charming little bird, the best places to see them are protected sites where fences keep them safe from predators and humans.

Related Species:
Order:
Charadriiformes
Family: Sternidae
Genus: Sternula
Subspecies: S. a. albifrons, S. a. guineae, S. a. sinensis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare and very local breeding Summer migrant (1,900 pairs)
 - Birds seen at publicized colony at Rye Harbour in May 2015

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red-List

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