November 17, 2013

The carrot bill

The carrot bill by ricmcarthur
The carrot bill, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The Caspian tern is one of the easier birds to id, with its large, thick, and brilliant coral red bill.

Hydroprogne caspia

The Caspian Tern is the largest tern in the world.

Young Caspian Terns appear to have a difficult time learning to catch fish efficiently. They stay with their parents for long periods of time, and are fed by them even on the wintering grounds. Many young terns do not return to the nesting grounds for several years, remaining instead on the wintering areas.
The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be more than 26 years old. Average life span of Great Lakes Caspian Terns is estimated to be 12 years.

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