Caspian Tern | Sterna caspia
The Caspian Tern is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Laridae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Shrikes.
The description for the Caspian Tern (Latin name Sterna caspia) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Sterna caspia can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 322 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 450. You will find a picture of the Caspian Tern on page 417.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Hydroprogne caspia in the Roberts 6th Edition.
The Caspian Tern has a height of 54 cms and weighs around 690 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured red. The Sterna caspia has a white coloured throat, black legs and a brown, grey coloured back. The eyes are red.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is black
Eyes are red
Bill is red
Legs are black
Throat is white
Back is brown, grey
Feeding Habits ...
The Sterna caspia attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten
This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Caspian Tern is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured green.
The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.
The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams
You can see the Caspian Tern bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Caspian Tern is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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