White-Winged Black Tern

To: <>
Subject: White-Winged Black Tern
From: jilldening <>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 18:56:51 +1000
  Dean Portelli  16/3/03 5:59 PM

> G'Day all,
> Following Jill Dennings posting I had a browse of Michael Morcombe's site
> and went to the page concerning the WWBTern. I take the individual shown to
> be a juvenile/immature bird - can anyone with a better knowledge of this
> species confirm this and provide a better description (i.e. precise plumage,
> e.g. first winter???)? I presume the photos with the waders are of the same
> bird as the video-grab shots on the website.
> Follow link to the tern page:
I also took this to be an immature White -winged Black Tern WWTE, and have
just sent you privately a jpg shot I took a year or two ago in January of an
immature which came into care in Noosa, SEQld.  Whilst I didn't see any
reference to the month of the picture on the website, it is consistent with
what I regard as a WWTE which has replaced its juvenile plumage with first
immature plumage, which, I understand occurs in August. I would guess that
the bird is 3-9 months old. I come into difficulty after the March,
following birth, when I am no longer clear of imm  plumage. It is difficult
in the field, as there is so much dark plumage on the adult birds anyway as
they come into breeding plumage. I am watching closely this year to try to
learn to differentiate just prior to departure.

At this stage I have no way of picking 2nd imm birds (ie over 12 months old)
when they arrive from the breeding grounds, if it can be done. I wonder if
there is anyone else lurking on the list, who might be able to cast some
light? Mike Carter?


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'     152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

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