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tern ID, Spore (1 Viewer)

wuwu1277

Well-known member
Hi,: sighted 10-20 terns this morning, in Singapore. Very far with some blur images. Not very sure about the ID, Can you pls kindly advise. Thanks a lot in advance!
 

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THE_FERN

Well-known member
Hi, there: not very sure if can advise. Thanks a lot in advance

Ok to get you started I'll do the easy ones. 3rd is lesser crested (thinnish orange bill) and 4 is little (yellow-orange bill, black/white face pattern: nice photo)
 

andyb39

Well-known member
1st looks like Whiskered - the wings and tail are longer than the tail, not the other way round, fairly stout bill and bold stripe through the eye.

2nd also short-tailed but long thin bill and broader eyestripe - non-breeding Little?
 

wuwu1277

Well-known member
Dear Fern and Andyb39: I thank you so much for the advices. I can roughly tell the first one is a whiskered tern, but the 3rd and 4th are really tough for me...Based on what you shared with me, I will do more readings on terns...hehe...Again, thank you so much!
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
1 looks like a Common Tern to me.

The other 3 I think are Little Terns.

I can see why Fred might think Lesser Crested for 3 but is it just a Little Tern taken at an unfortunate angle? It looks very like the bird in 4. Zooming in reveals what looks like orange/pink feet. I'm far from certain though.
 
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THE_FERN

Well-known member
1 looks like a Common Tern to me.

The other 3 I think are Little Terns.

I can see why Fred might think Lesser Crested for 3 but is it just a Little Tern taken at an unfortunate angle? It looks very like the bird in 4. Zooming in reveals what looks like orange/pink feet. I'm far from certain though.

[Not Fred...] Tern 3's cap pattern extends down to the bill base, and I see no hint of a white forehead. Bill shape appears longer to me too, and colour more orange. I can't see the feet very well but I think could well be the dull pink/red of lesser crested as much as orange of little. I still don't think this is little tern...
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
[Not Fred...] Tern 3's cap pattern extends down to the bill base, and I see no hint of a white forehead. Bill shape appears longer to me too, and colour more orange. I can't see the feet very well but I think could well be the dull pink/red of lesser crested as much as orange of little. I still don't think this is little tern...

1. You probably wouldn't see the white forehead from that angle, but Little Terns do have a black lores linking the black cap to the bill base.
2. Difficult to get a proper feel for the bill shape from that angle.
3. Lesser Crested have black feet, not orange red.
The jury is still out for me on that bird.
 
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SteveClifton

Well-known member
Lesser Crested Tern also has a heavy dark trailing edge to the primaries, which this bird lacks. I can certainly see the resemblance to LCT, but I think we are being tricked by the angle of view, making it hard to see some of the features of Little Tern. It doesn't help that it lacks a black tip to the bill, but then the one in pic 4 doesn't either.
Little Tern for me, could even be the same bird as pic 4?
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
Lesser Crested Tern also has a heavy dark trailing edge to the primaries, which this bird lacks. I can certainly see the resemblance to LCT, but I think we are being tricked by the angle of view, making it hard to see some of the features of Little Tern. It doesn't help that it lacks a black tip to the bill, but then the one in pic 4 doesn't either.
Little Tern for me, could even be the same bird as pic 4?

Actually I think this is correct. Although lesser crested's primary smudge can be washed out [not prominent along the primary edge], I think the pattern is different to that we see here. So little tern it is.

For the foot colour, there are various ebird images of lesser crested where feet appear at least partly red/orange red.
 

wuwu1277

Well-known member
Dear all experts: I thank you very much for the advices. Sorry for the poor quality of my images. I will go there again and take more sharp photos. Thank you. I learnt a lot to differentiate LCT from little terns. Again, thank you
 

andyb39

Well-known member
Now you mention it, yes, I think it is!

Could be - the bill and feet seem to have a dark red tint, but this may be misleading. This is what pointed me to Whiskered, but the bill shape isn't right on a second look. Surely not common with such a short tail.
 

andyb39

Well-known member
Now you mention it, yes, I think it is!

Could be - the bill and feet seem to have a dark red tint, but this may be misleading. This is what pointed me to Whiskered, but the bill shape isn't right on a second look. Surely not Common with such a short tail.
 

wuwu1277

Well-known member
Could be - the bill and feet seem to have a dark red tint, but this may be misleading. This is what pointed me to Whiskered, but the bill shape isn't right on a second look. Surely not Common with such a short tail.

Andy: You are great!B :)
 

wuwu1277

Well-known member
Dear all experts: I took some more photos of the terns in Singapore this morning. The images are still not sharp (as it is really too far away), but all the terns perched there, maybe easier for ID. Can advise the IDs of this group? Thank you so much!
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
In the second set of birds from post 18, there are at least two 1 cy White-Winged Terns among them.
Its the left bird on the horizontal bar and the small preening bird just right front of the center sitting on the pond.
Both show the right head pattern with much white above and behind eye, small all dark bill and a dark brownish, nearly black saddle of retainend juvenile feathers.

Other birds of the post 18 are Whiskered Terns or are unidable to me. I am not sure about the two preening birds on the far left corner just before the vertical bar. They might also be White-Winged Terns by head pattern, but they are not easy judged (more pictures or other comments, so I can learn?)
If I had to put a name on all birds from post 18, I would say, Whiskered Terns and 2-4 White Winged Terns.
 

wuwu1277

Well-known member
Dear Alexander: Thank you so much! I myself also guess the left bird on the horizontal bar is a white-winged. Sorry for the poor image quality. I will go there again and take some shots when the terns fly near to me, and come back to you. Again, thanks.
 

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