April 28, 2014

Royal Tern

A large, orange-billed tern, the Royal Tern is found only along ocean beaches.

We saw this one on the gulf coast in Texas.
The Royal Tern makes its nest scrape on the ground on low-lying islands. The pair defecates directly on the nest rim, perhaps to reinforce the nest against flooding. After a few weeks, the nest rim hardens.

Thalasseus maximus

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