The little tern is the smallest member of the tern family here in the UK. They are rather delightful little birds and can be identified by their distinctive yellow bill with a black tip.
These terns are at their noisiest when at the breeding colonies where courtship starts. Initially, this involves the male performing an aerial display where they will call and carry a fish to assist in attracting a suitable mate.
In Europe, the little tern is listed as Amber on their conservation status due to their vulnerable nesting sites.
Their diets consist of fish.
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Named in honour of the French naturalist and ornithologist, Jean Victor Audouin (1797 – 1841) the Audouin’s gull is one of the world’s rarest and is limited in the main to regions within and surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
Terns are water birds from the family Sternidae and are expert fish catchers. There are generally considered to be forty five separate species of terns worldwide. Generally smaller than gulls but with long tails, thin bodies and short legs, they are long distance migrants.
There are four sub-species of the common gull with the European variant being the nominate. The other three are the Russian, Kamchatka and American, which are all predominantly confined to the geographical region attributed by their name. There are subtle differences in plumage and overall size of bird between sub-species.
The title of Black-headed Gull is rather a misnomer for this bird as its head is not black but a dark brown colour and only in adult birds during the breeding season. It is not present during the winter months or in other plumages. Unlike many gulls it is not restricted to coastal regions and is widespread inland in both rural and urban areas.
A graceful tern, easily distinguishable in their black summer plumage, which they're named after.
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