Monday, July 30, 2007

Roseate tern fact sheet

Sterna dougallii | Roseate tern

The roseate tern is a small bird (smaller than the common tern) that flies very fast. The reproductive adults have a black head, pinkish chest and orange legs. At the beginning of the breeding season the beak is completely black, but after the chicks are born the base becomes red. The reproductive period is between April and July. The nests are located in areas protected by rocks or vegetation, but the eggs (usually one or two) are laid directly on the ground. Their preferred prey are small fish, especially mackerel, garfish and boar fish. In the Azores they  commonly nest on all islands (except Corvo where nesting is sporadic). Nesting is most abundant in Flores, Graciosa and Santa Maria. In Europe it is a very rare species, staying during Winter in the Caribbean and West Coast of Africa. This species is classified as "common breeding" in the Azores.

Length: 33 - 38 cm

Weight: 100 - 120 g

Wingspan: 70 - 75 cm

• Global: 2,500 pairs
• Azores: 400 - 1,050 pairs

• Average: c.8 years
• Maximum: 23 years

Diet: Small fish, especially mackerel, garfish and boar fish

Breeding age: 2 years

Eggs: 1 or 2

Incubation: 21 - 28 days

Nesting sites: Small depressions in the ground

Fledging: 21 - 30 days

In other languages:
Portuguese: Garajau rosada
Spanish: Charrán rosado
French: Sterne de Dougall
Italian: Sterna di Dougall
German: Rosenseeschwalbe
Dutch: Dougalls stern
Swedish: Rosentärna
Norwegian: Rosenterne
Danish: -
Finnish: Ruusutiira

Juvenile roseate tern

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