This post is for World Bird Wednesday.
Out at Inskip Point the other day there were numbers of Terns flying across the point and fishing in the channel between the mainland and Fraser Island. However, there were only two that came in and rested on the sand right on the Point. I was immediately attracted to them because one of them was making begging noises at the other. It seemed to me that it was rather late in the season to see or hear a juvenile Crested Tern, but when I looked they were Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia). Although I frequently see Caspian Terns their breeding cycle is much harder to understand as they breed at widely dispersed sites and at varying times of the year depending on the climate of the region. They then move to quite different areas to spend the rest of the year.
Here is the juvenile begging from the adult. The juvenile is still showing its typical "spotty" plumage.
The Caspian Tern is the largest of all the terns and occurs over most of the world. Beside smaller terns such as the Little Tern (Sterna albifrons) it looks massive. However, the wingspan is also large - 130-145cm.
Adult Caspian Tern Juvenile Caspian Tern