AudioDateDownLeftRightUpIconClosefacebookReportGallerySettingsGiftLanguageGridLanguage iconListMapMenunoAudionoPhotoPhotoPlayPlusSearchStartwitterUserVideo

Royal Tern

Thalasseus maximus


Dale Clark
Search this contributor

eBird Checklist S38310563
Riggs and Price Rds. ponds
Maricopa, Arizona, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 33.2193, -111.8926 Map

Not specified
Not specified


Observation details

I found Royal Tern again (same spot as yesterday morning) at about 6:22 AM. The large size and relatively long thick bill of this tern eliminates all of the small and medium-sized terns and we are left with Caspian Tern, Elegant Tern, and Royal Tern as candidates. The characteristics that eliminate Elegant tern are the large size of this tern, the head pattern, and the bill shape. The dark crest is shorter on this bird that on an Elegant Tern, which shows more black on the crown and the nape. The bill of this bird differs with the bill of an Elegant Tern by being thicker, not down-curved, and the gonydeal angle is closer to the end of the bill. This Tern is not a Caspian Tern because a Caspian Tern lacks the shaggy crest, and a Caspian Tern has a thicker bill. The bill of a Caspian Tern is usually reddish with a dark tip. The large white area of the forehead on this tern serves to rule out Caspian Tern. Also, in flight, a Caspian Tern shows broader wings than this bird.

Technical Information

Canon EOS 7D
Lens model
150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary 015
Focal length
600 mm
Shutter speed
1/663 sec
Flash did not fire, auto

Related Media

Same Observation

View All

Same Checklist

View All

Same Species

View All