I could watch terns all day long.  Flying, hunting, calling, preening, or just sitting around, I find terns fascinating.  It just seems so improbable that creatures that live in the air and on land could evolve to catch creatures that live in the water, but, of course, terns can and do.  On my last visit to Cupsogue Beach County Park there was a steady stream of Common Terns Sterna hirundo flying overhead, carrying food to their youngsters that were waiting on the mudflats.  Of course, presented with such an opportunity, I couldn’t resist doing my best to capture the food-carrying birds on the memory card of my camera.  Here, then, loyal reader, are the results of my efforts.

And, as if the pictures above aren’t enough, I also managed to capture a good portion of a high speed chase, in which one hungry Common Tern was apparently trying to get food from another.  At least, that is what I think was going on, but, really, I am not sure; it might have been a some kind of pair-bonding flight.  I was distracted by yells of “Whimbrel!” so I can’t even tell you how the exciting chase ended.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.