Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus) - 22May2016 and 13Aug2016

From Wiki: The bridled tern (Onychoprion anaethetus, formerly Sterna anaethetus is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. It is a bird of the tropical oceans. The scientific name is from Ancient Greek. The genus is onux, "claw", and "prion", nail. The specific anaethetus means "senseless, stupid"

Apparently this unfortunate greek name stems from the fact that hungry sailors captured this relatively docile bird on the high seas fairly easily.

The following pics were taken on two different days out on a Brian Patteson Pelagic in NC waters.

If you see a dark backed tern sitting on a piece of flotsam out in the Gulf Stream, chances are it is a Bridled Tern. The below bird was found on a particularly large piece of bamboo.

Note the white nape, on a Sooty Tern the white collar would not go all the way around.

The back is much more pale than on a Sooty Tern.

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