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Monday, February 19, 2018

Terning in?

On my way home from work in the late afternoon, I noticed a flock of Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) on the tidal flats near Spud Point.

It was another very windy day, so perhaps the terns were looking for shelter in the harbor?

There were at least 21 terns.  Here are a couple of photos showing most of the flock:

Many of the terns appeared to close their eyes as soon as they landed.  In the images below, note the white spot at the lower edge of the black ear/eye patch.  When the terns' eyes are open, their dark eyes blend in with the black ear/eye patch.  But when their eyes are closed, the white lower lid comes up and contrasts with the black eye/ear patch.  This had the interesting effect of making the birds look awake when their eyes were closedi.e., from a distance, it looks like the terns have white eyes.  [Click on the pictures for larger versions.]

One more close-up:

Nice to see some terns today!

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