ABA Lifer #675 WHISKERED TERN!

Whiskered Tern on Cape May State Park Beach.

Whiskered Tern on Cape May State Park Beach.


This morning, Ken McDermott and I headed to Cape May, New Jersey to try for the “Mega Rarity” Whiskered Tern. We were not disappointed. The bird has been present since Friday and continues with the same behaviors today. The bird rests on the beach just west of the bunker. It then takes off and goes to the pond in front of the Hawk Watch Stand. It feeds by dipping its bill into the water, picking small items from the surface. It feeds like this for 15 minutes or so and then returns to the beach. The bird was seen in the company of a Black Tern today as well. Other terns present included Commons, Forster’s and at least one Royal. Many Laughing Gulls and some Herring Gulls were also present. Many people had traveled to the cape for this bird. Among the people we knew were Carena Pooth and John Mueger. Dave LaPuma of Cape May Observatory actually came over and introduced himself, congratulating me on finding the tern among the large flock. Fantastic bird! Click on the photos to enlarge them, they are better at that size.

Note the dark smudging on the belly and upper breast.

Note the dark smudging on the belly and upper breast.

Here the bird stands directly behind the primaries of a Laughing Gull.  It still shows the dark belly and white cheek characteristic of the species.

Here the bird stands directly behind the primaries of a Laughing Gull. It still shows the dark belly and white cheek characteristic of the species.

The Whiskered Tern flies back and forth over the Bunker Pond, picking insects off the water as it goes.

The Whiskered Tern flies back and forth over the Bunker Pond, picking insects off the water as it goes.

Ken McDermott looks out over Bunker Pond as the Whiskered Tern feeds.

Ken McDermott looks out over Bunker Pond as the Whiskered Tern feeds.

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6 Responses to ABA Lifer #675 WHISKERED TERN!

  1. Carena Pooth says:

    Thank you for finding it out there, John!

  2. Nice one John – Congrats!

  3. Deb Kral says:

    Congratulations, John. Neat bird!

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