White-winged Black-Terns vs Whiskered

Subject: White-winged Black-Terns vs Whiskered
From: Vin <>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 12:16:36 +1100 (EST)

I visited Hird Swamp on Sunday and saw a huge number of
Whiskered Terns there, several hundred of them. Anyway,
I noticed some white ones and wondering whether they
are Whiskered or WW Black Terns.

I have photographs, but I am still unsure. Some of the
seem to have 'headphones', but im not sure if that the
main way of identification. Also in all books I have,
(at least 8 books I have list this species), all Black
Terns have a dark carpal bar. (On the leading edge) and
Whiskered dont. These are visible in many of the birds
I saw at Hird Swamp. Also noted some of them with square

My question is whether these birds I saw are Whiskered or
WW Black Terns. Would there be Non-breeding Whiskered at
this time of the year? I guess possibly immature ones, but
what about non-breeding? All Black Terns would be non-breeding
or immature.

I will send a brief report of my whoel trip when I have time.


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