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White-winged black tern - Chlidonias leucopterus | by Steve Attwood
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White-winged black tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

Photographed on the Ashley River, Canterbury, New Zealand.

"In breeding plumage this is a striking black-and-white tern unlike any other New Zealand tern. The white-winged black tern breeds from eastern Europe and Middle East to Manchuria, and birds migrate to equatorial and temperate parts of Africa, Asia and Australasia. They have nested occasionally in New Zealand, the most recent record being in 2015. In New Zealand white-winged black terns are most often seen in the summer months when they are in pale non-breeding plumage. They favour coastal lagoons and estuaries where they feed mainly in flight, dipping down to the water to catch surface insects. In some years a few birds are seen whose physiology and breeding cycles are geared to the southern hemisphere; these birds inhabit different sites, typically inland riverbeds and associated wetlands, often in the company of black-fronted terns." -

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Taken on September 24, 2016