|Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans)
(aka Sterna elegans)
The Elegant Tern breeds in a small area from southern California to the Gulf of California in Mexico. In fact 95% of the population breeds on one island, Isla Rasa, in the Gulf of California. For this reason Birdlife International classify this species as Near Threatened.
|After breeding the birds migrate northwards to northern California and southwards as far as central Chile. In breeding plumage it has a black cap and long black crest while in non-breeding plumage, as seen here, it has a white forehead. It has a long, slender bill which can vary in colour from yellow-orange to orange-red. The legs and feet are normally black though a small percentage have orange legs and feet.|