Crested Terns holding their beaks open (South Coast)

To: Duncan McCaskill <>
Subject: Crested Terns holding their beaks open (South Coast)
From: mary bomford <>
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 18:12:24 +1000
Hi Duncan
When birds are hot they do something called "gular fluttering" in which birds rapidly flap membranes in the throat to increase evaporation to dissipate heat - similar to panting in dogs. If you google this term you will find lots of images similar to your tern photo and one almost identical at this link

On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 5:43 PM, Duncan McCaskill <> wrote:
I was at Mollymook the other day where I noticed a couple of Crested Terns resting on the beach holding their beaks open. Is this normal or are they ill? 

Inline images 1

Google tells me that domestic birds get gapeworms which block their trachea making breathing difficult, but I can't find if terns get them.


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