Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Status in the Checklist Area - Uncommon to rare

A large and robust tern that is gull-like in some ways. Produces a loud scratchy yelp fairly often. Encountered in our checklist area either over or near the Fraser River where is is seen annually flying back and forth during the summer months. This speices has expanded its population from more southern latitudes on the Pacific Coast. While limited breeding has been detected in BC to date, colonies nest to the south as near as Washington State. Caspian Terns have one of the longest periods of feeding fledged young. Adults will feed their young for 5 - 7 months after the young takes flight. They breed for the first time usually at 4 or 5 years of age.

Similar species:
The large red bill, black cap and pointed wings help differentriate from gulls. Common and ArcticTern have been recorded in the area in the past but are much smaller

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)

Noteworthy Data
03-Sept-2010 Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs K. R . Jones Sixteen birds feeding actively and resting on rock breakwater. Highest count on record.
16-April-2010 Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs K. R. Jones Lone bird flying over the lake. Earliest record.
01-July-2009 Island 22 Regional Park, Chilliwack G. Gadsden Five flying downstream over Fraser River.
21-May-2008 Island 22 Regional Park, Chilliwack G. Gadsden Flock of six.
20-May-2006 Island 22 Regional Park, Chilliwack G. Gadsden One flying downstream.
04-June-2006 Wilband Creek Park, Abbotsford B. Schmor At least three flew over.
20-July-1998 Matsqui Trail Regional Park, Abbotsford B. Schmor Five perched on sandbar.
25-Sept-1999 Fraser River, west Chilliwack G. Gadsden Three resting on sandbar during high wind storm. Latest record.
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