Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
 about habitat birds + science 20 birds
aerialist raptors
copyright UW Sea Grant, writer: L. Wiland, design: T. Yao contact us credits

Common Tern — Water Connection, page 2

• Long outer feathers of the Common Tern’s flexible, forked tail act as rudders during these steep plunge dives, precisely calibrating the bird’s angle of descent.

• Like gulls, terns also dip below the surface to feed while they swim. Unlike gulls, however, terns are poor walkers and swimmers because terns’ feet are smaller and weaker.

• Commercial net fishers watch terns closely, for wherever these birds are feeding, chances are good that mackerel or tuna have driven smaller fish prey to the surface.

ML Reeb writer: Laurence Wiland design: T. Yao