Today we have added the Inca Tern to Birdorable. Inca Terns have a mostly dark grey plumage, with the tail being darker. The wings are tipped in white. Males and females look alike. Adult birds can easily be recognized by their long white mustachial feather plumes. Mustaches are hot right now, making Inca Terns the most popular birds on the beach!
Inca Terns are piscivorous, meaning their diet consists of mostly fish. They eat small fish including anchovies and silversides which are snatched from the water as the bird swoops down from a hovering position. Love these ornate fish-loving birds? Be sure to check out our collection of cute cartoon Inca Tern gifts!
We're adding new birds each day until we reach our 500th Birdorable species! Today's Bonanza bird is the Least Tern.
Gift-giving is part of the pair formation in Least Terns. Male terns will perform a "Fish Flight Display", carrying a small fish in his bill while calling out and landing with a gliding manoeuver. The ritual may end when the male gifts the fish to a female.
Least Tern courtship by Kenneth Cole Schneider (CC BY-ND 2.0)
In the USA, Least Terns are a species of concern in many states. Least Terns traditionally nest on sandy beaches, but will also use gravel-surfaced rooftops or man-made nesting platforms. Conservationists provide these additional nesting habitats to help preserve the species.
Tomorrow our 2013 Bonanza continues with the addition of a small European songbird with a big personality.
Here are ten interesting facts about the Caspian Tern:
- The Caspian Tern is the world's largest tern species.
- The Caspian Tern's diet consists almost entirely of fish.
- Unlike many other tern species, the Caspian Tern retains its black cap during the winter (non-breeding plumage).
- The Caspian Tern occurs on all continents except Antarctica.
- Caspian Terns are highly vocal. Chicks vocalize while they are still in the egg!
- Caspian Terns are fastidious when it comes to feeding their young. Adults rinse their bills after feeding their babies. If an offered fish is accidentally dropped on the ground, the adult will rinse it off with water before re-offering it to the baby tern.
- Caspian Terns nest along the Gulf Coast and thus are one of the species directly threatened by the BP Oil Spill Disaster of 2010.
- Starting from day one, chicks are fed whole fish, which they swallow headfirst.
- The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be 26 years old.
- The Caspian Tern is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Caspian Tern was added to Birdorable on July 20, 2007.
The Sooty Tern is a seabird that breeds on equatorial islands. Outside of breeding, they rarely are seen on land. The Sooty Tern has two nicknames related to its loud and somewhat obnoxious call. It is called the Wideawake Tern; in Hawaiian its name means cacophony. The Sooty Tern used to be part of an important ritual for the people of Easter Island. The clan of the "birdman" who could collect the first egg from a Sooty or Grey-backed Tern each year would control the island's resources. The Sooty Tern has been on Birdorable since July 2007. Be sure to check out our great collection of Sooty Tern t-shirts & gifts!
This week's highlighted t-shirt design is our Birdorable Black Tern, shown here on our Organic Onesie. The Black Tern is a small tern that lives near inland water in Europe and North America. Our Black Tern t-shirts will make great gifts for tern lovers and birdwatchers.