Terns on Kangaroo Island

To: 'Dion Hobcroft' <>, Ken Grinter <>
Subject: Terns on Kangaroo Island
From: Trevor Hardaker <>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 09:45:18 +0200
Hi Ken, Dion and Birding-Aussers,
Antarctic Tern is a regular winter visitor to my part of the world and is fairly different to the other "comic" terns viz. Common and Arctic Terns. Antarctic Tern is a "dumpy" bird with a relatively short bill and quite short legs as well. Common Tern is easily separated by its longer bill and much longer legs showing a reasonable amount of the tibia. Arctic Tern also shows a short bill and short legs, but is a far slimmer bird.
Antarctic Tern shows an obvious white rump as well as a fairly distinctive white trailing edge to the grey upperwings. There are a couple of photos of Antarctic Tern in non-breeding plumage under the "pelagic birds" section of the "photographic gallery" on our website if you are interested. This might give you a better feel for the "jizz" of the bird, one of the more important features which can be used to very quickly separate it from Common and Arctic Terns.
Hope this helps.
Kind Regards
Trevor Hardaker and John Graham
Cape Town, South Africa
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