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tara - white-fronted tern - Sterna striata | by Steve Attwood
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tara - white-fronted tern - Sterna striata

Photographed on the rocks at Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Conservation status: Declining.

 

"The white-fronted tern is the most common tern on the New Zealand coastline, at times occurring in flocks of many hundreds or even thousands of birds. It is mainly a marine species that is seldom found far from the coast. The name ‘white-fronted’ refers to the ‘frons’ or forehead, where a thin strip of white separates the black cap from the black bill. Most other ‘capped’ terns, including the black-fronted tern, have black caps that reach the bill when in breeding plumage. The scientific name striata refers to the finely-barred (striated) dorsal plumage of recently fledged white-fronted terns, as the original description and name was based on a juvenile bird painted by William Ellis, surgeon’s second mate on the Discovery, on Captain Cook’s third visit to New Zealand." - www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

 

 

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Taken on April 15, 2016