Florida - Royal Tern

May 22, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

A very common bird on the beaches of Florida is the Royal Tern, generally roosting just above the waterline. When I went in November there were plenty around, many with fully-grown chicks continually begging for food. Here's a chick with an adult behind it.

I spent a bit of time photographing their antics, but mostly they just loafed rather than doing anything particularly interesting. They're large birds though, large enough that you don't need to use much focal length - I found a bare 500mm lens too much a lot of the time, but unfortunately I don't have anything else. Is it time to repurchase a 300mm f2.8, or could I get away with that new 100-400mm I wonder. I recently cut back on a few lenses, selling three that I have not missed one little bit. You can of course never have the perfect kit bag....

Not once did I see an adult actually give a begging chick any food. Perhaps this late in the season they are encouraging the youngsters to sort themselves out and become independent. This did not stop the chicks incessant calling however. I would be very interested to go back in the summer to see proper parenting behaviour - a photograph with the passing of a fish or eel would be a lot more interesting, and depending on when I went the chicks might be small and fluffy. I'd also be able to go to that Skimmer colony I have tucked away - time to start looking at flight sales perhaps, another cheeky weekend in 2017...

 

 


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