Monday, 17 March 2008
Special birds: White-winged Black Tern
White-winged Black Tern (aka White-winged Tern) Chlidonias leucopterus is the smallest and arguably the most attractive of the three so-called "marsh terns" that are found in Europe. It is similar to Black Tern but, in breeding plumage, has a bright white rump and tail and leading edge on the wings. Though called "white-winged" it is often the white tail that catches the eye. The species has a very eastern breeding distribution, forming noisy colonies on shallow marshes in eastern Poland and Hungary. However, numbers fluctaute each year, in some years in eastern Hungary they are locally common, in others rather scarce. And the same is sometimes true for Poland. Much seems to depend on subtle changes in water levels. Elsewhere they can be seen on passage. This fine photo is courtesy of Birdinders.