River Tern


Another fierce defender of its colony, found alongside the Pratincoles at Kabini, is the River Tern. River Terns derive their name from the fact that they are often found on freshwater habitats and are rarely seen by the sea. Greenish-grey eggs are characteristic of River Terns. A nesting Tern is often guarded by extremely aggressive mates and has been known to drive out large foraging animals such as foxes.

 The most distinctive features of the River Tern are its yellow bill, red legs and forked tail with long flexible streamers.  True to the Tern family, the River Tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, crustaceans, tadpoles and aquatic insects in rivers, lakes and tanks.

Both these birds are small, aggressive and extremely sensitive. You need to ensure you keep a fair distance from them and make sure long zoom/telelens are used to get close ups (like the ones above).
 These birds are known to abandon nests and move to newer habitats at the first sign of intrusion. They are found in abundance at Kabini, often living alongside colonies of Pratincoles and Kingfishers.

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