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Sandwich Tern or Cabot Tern, St Lucia

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Old Thursday 24th October 2013, 17:49   #1
myoudale
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Sandwich Tern or Cabot Tern, St Lucia

Wondering if anyone would be able to say whether this was a Sandwich Tern (which I had initially ID it as) or a Cabot's Tern which someone else thinks it is.
These are two different bird (image 2&3 are same bird)

Thanks

Mike
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Old Thursday 24th October 2013, 17:57   #2
njlarsen
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Cabot tern is the name used for the form of Sandwich tern breeding in the Americas. These are very difficult to separate in the field, and not everybody recognize them as different species: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/sate_ma/

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Old Thursday 24th October 2013, 18:05   #3
provo
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The cabot's tern is smaller in size, breeds of the the Atlantic coast,
and for winter they head to warmer waters. Ie: Caribbean, South America.

I would say #1 is a cabot and #2 #3 is sandwich
if you look at #1 it does appear smaller.

But I am far from an expert on this. Just giving my opinion.

*btw if you overlay image #2 over image #1 just line up the bill and eyes
and it does appear that #1 is a smaller bird.

Last edited by provo : Thursday 24th October 2013 at 18:09.
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Old Thursday 24th October 2013, 18:28   #4
Larry Sweetland
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I don't think Sandwich Tern is recorded in the Caribbean yet(?), but there is a recently discussed report from the NE USA here http://btoringing.blogspot.co.uk/201...irst-from.html

I'm pretty sure the default species by an enormous margin is the extremely similar Cabot's Tern.

Last edited by Larry Sweetland : Thursday 24th October 2013 at 18:36.
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Old Thursday 24th October 2013, 19:39   #5
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Thanks for your responses everyone. I knew it would be a tricky one as the ID features seem very difficult and complicated.
I will put it down at Cabot's then based on Sandwich Tern not being seen in the Caribbean.

Mike
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Old Thursday 24th October 2013, 19:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by provo View Post
The cabot's tern is smaller in size, breeds of the the Atlantic coast,
and for winter they head to warmer waters. Ie: Caribbean, South America.

I would say #1 is a cabot and #2 #3 is sandwich
if you look at #1 it does appear smaller.

But I am far from an expert on this. Just giving my opinion.

*btw if you overlay image #2 over image #1 just line up the bill and eyes
and it does appear that #1 is a smaller bird.
Thanks for this response. I did think picture one was a little smaller, but I didnt really if its true about the black being solid on the back of the head like on picture one.
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