Friday, October 28, 2016

Returning Terns

Another of our relatively common migrants here to the La Paz area, are the Elegant Terns. Thru-out the winter we will have quite a few of the Elegants as well as a large number of Royal Terns. The Elegant Tern is recognized by the slightly lighter in color, as well as slightly slimmer bill than the Royal Tern. The nap, or dark feathers that run from the top of the head to back, near the neck are a little longer on the Elegant than the Royal as well.

In the last couple of weeks, we have had a lot of Elegants start to show up on the sand bars and edges of the bays. This photo is a section of a sand bar nearly 150 yards long, so it is hard to show the whole thing. 

These slim, approximately 17" birds feed by diving into the water to catch small minnows. Catching one of these very fast, relatively small birds, while diving is quite a challenge..

They will hover....looking for that perfect little morsel...

Then, dive straight down....

Here is a shot just milliseconds before hitting the water

Hoping to get there before the minnow has a chance to dive out of harms ways.

After a few little snacks, it is off to the sand bar or rock piling to stretch out, get dry and perhaps take a nap!

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