|Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis
(aka Sterna bengalensis)
|Michaelmas Key, Queensland, Australia
The Lesser Crested Tern breeds in North Africa, around the Red Sea and Persian Gulf and in Indonesia and around the coasts of the northern half of Australia. Most populations appear to be at least partially migratory but the Australian populations are thought to be sedentary.
|Photo 2 shows two Lesser Crested Terns on the right and two Crested Terns on the left. This demonstrates the main differences between the two species. The Lesser Crested Tern is smaller with a more slender, orange bill and a less shaggy crest. The Australian sub-species T. b. torresii is darker grey above than the other sub-species.|
|Most of these birds are not quite in full breeding plumage when the forehead is entirely black but the birds that are copulating in photos 4 to 6 show the black forehead and crown.|
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