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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fish for dinner?

Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri) photographed in a dive just before entering the water in Bodega Harbor, 22 February 2014.

This picture was a bit of a mistake.  Sadly, I'm having problems with my camera.  I was doing some tests, taking some random shots here and there, without thinking that any of them would result in images that I would keep.  

But when I looked at this one it was interesting enough that I thought I'd show it to you.  I like the dramatic swept-back wings of the tern...and how you can feel the intense focus of the bird...and how you wouldn't want to be the object of its attention!

It also made me wonder about what type of fish Forster's Terns eat.  Do you know?  

I found one article published in Western Birds in 1979 that described the prey of Caspian Terns and Forster's Terns in Elkhorn Slough (Monterey County):

Baltz, D. M., G. V. Morejohn, and B. S. Antrim. 1979. Size selective predation and food habits of two California terns. Western Birds 10:17-24.

The authors documented Forster's Terns eating Shiner Perch (Cymatogaster aggregata), Northern Anchovy (Engraulis mordax), Night Smelt (Spirinchus starksi), Topsmelt (Atherinops affinis), Arrow Goby (Clevelandia ios), and other unidentified gobies.

I wonder if they're eating similar species in Bodega Harbor?

1 comment:

Claudia said...

You can even see the reflection of the bird in the water!