Elegant Tern

Thalasseus elegans


Willie D'Anna
Search this contributor Profile

eBird Checklist S15733618
Unity Island (aka Squaw Is.)--North End
Erie, New York, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 42.9321, -78.9063 Map

Multiple species;


Observation details

Second state record, if accepted by NYSARC. Found by Vicki Rothman yesterday at Beaver Island State Park, about three miles straight line distance down the Niagara River from here. Photographed shortly afterward by Dennis Gralek at this location but this was not known to birders until I talked to Dennis this morning. I then found it. First-winter plumage. Extremely cooperative bird. Seen by about 35 birders on the American side and many watching from a distance on the Canadian side. Well photographed by Jim Pawlicki, myself, and others. This tern is smaller than I would have imagined, appearing to be the size of a Bonaparte's Gull though perhaps longer-winged. Long slender orangish bill with yellow tones, especially near the tip, with little curvature. Black on nape that extended to and a little in front of the eyes. Only a narrow white partial eye-ring below the eye. Gray mantle with blackish on outer primaries and associated primary coverts and on secondaries. Vague blackish bar on leading edge of inner wings, less conspicuous than on Common Terns here. Rump and forked tail white with black outer tail feathers and a little black on tips of the next one or two rectrices in. Ventral body entirely white. Photos.

Technical Information

Original file size
680 x 600

Related Media

Same Observation

View All

Same Checklist

View All

Same Species

View All