Monday, July 9, 2012

Roseate Tern

Many thanks to Caroline who not only found this Roseate Tern at Fort Victoria this evening, but rang me to let me know. The US National Audubon Society says of these birds, ‘With its silvery appearance, light, buoyant flight, and streaming tail feathers, the Roseate Tern is the epitome of elegance.’

That says it all really. In the video below you can see it perched on the disused pier at Fort Victoria together with a few flight shots as it feeds with a dozen or so Common Terns on a shoal of fish just off the pier.

This is one of our rarest seabirds that has been declining over a number of years, though the species account on Wikipedia notes that the provision of nestboxes for the colony at Coquet Island, Northumberland led to a dramatic increase from 25 pairs in 1997 to an amazing 92 pairs in 2005! There are some great photos and video footage of this species at ARKive.

Caroline noticed from photos that the Tern had a ring on each leg. Following enquiries it transpires that this would be a feature of just about every Roseate Tern raised in the UK, Ireland & France. This bird is probably from one of the main colonies at Lady's Island Lake (Wexford), Rockabill (Dublin), Coquet Island (Northumberland), or our nearest colony in Brittany!


  1. How beautiful, well done for keeping it in shot too!

  2. Well done Caroline for a first class spot and also to you Steve for the excellent video footage.

  3. Thanks, both of you, for your encouragement!