BIRD 3

Bird Watching (UK) - - May Id Challenge -

Long, black-tipped bill At first glance, this bird has many sim­i­lar­i­ties with Bird 2, and would eas­ily be lumped by old school bird­watch­ers into the ‘Com­mic’ tern cat­e­gory. But there are fea­tures aplenty to iden­tify it to species level. Firstly the bill is quite long and or­ange red with a black tip and the neck, even in this photo, looks longer than that of Bird 2. The wings are where most of the clues are, though. Note how the in­ner wing feath­ers (sec­on­daries) for­mer a nar­row darker band. And note how the outer pri­mary feath­ers in­stead of be­ing pale and ‘translu­cent’ have a dark, smudgy wedge. The mod­er­ate tail stream­ers com­bined with these fea­tures should be enough for you to con­clude that this is a Com­mon Tern.

KEY FEA­TURES †’Com­mic’ tern pat­tern of grey wings, black cap and red bill †Tail stream­ers of mod­er­ate length †Long bill is red with a black tip †Dark ‘wedge’ in the outer pri­maries

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