Terns are generally the most common
of the black-capped, gray-backed, white bodied terns found in the state.
Very similar to the Common Tern, the Forster's Tern is also the more common breeder
in the state, generally being found around freshwater marshes, and often nesting
on the top of muskrat houses.
Habitat: In summer, primarily large
freshwater marshes on the interior of the country, or salt marshes along the
coasts. In winter, many aquatic habitats along the coasts.
Diet: Primarily fish, but will also eat
insects, small crustaceans and mollusks, frogs, and tadpoles.
Behavior: Forages by flying slowing over water or
hovering, dipping down to snag sighted fish below the surface. They
will also sometimes capture flying insects in mid-air.
Nesting: June and July
Migration: Summers in scattered locations throughout
the U.S. and southern Canada. Winters along U.S. coastlines and points
south, but is generally not as much of a long-distance migrant as its close
Conservation Status: Has declined in portions of its range,
probably due to habitat loss.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Forster's Tern"
-- Forster's Tern
Photo Information: June 23rd, 2005 - Assateague
Island in Virginia - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Forster's Tern photos.