Gull-billed Tern

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Gull-billed Tern
From: "Gavin Goodyear" <>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 18:40:09 +1000
G'day all,
While visiting the new Kakadu wader roost at Bribie Island this morning, I noticed a Gull-billed Tern attempting to swallow a small -  100mm - Striped Catfish (Plotosus lineatus). It made two attempts at actually swallowing the fish over the 5 minutes it was in view but brought it back up both times. Most of this time it was trying to keep its catch from the bullying Silver Gulls and eventually flew out of sight with its intended meal.
I have observed this species once before trying to eat catfish a couple of years ago at Hayes Landing, Lake Wivenhoe in the Brisbane River valley. A Gull-billed Tern attempted to swallow a Blue ( Salmon ) Catfish (Arius graeffei) approx. 90mm long. After several attempts at swallowing its prey, it must have decided it wasn't going to happen and took off leaving it's prey behind.
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