The Agile Common Tern

By | June 21, 2013

A few of the Common Terns showed up at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma this spring. I tried to photograph them diving and catching fish out of the river but I never saw one that was successful.

The Common Tern is an agile flyer, capable of rapid turns and swoops, hovering, and vertical take-off. When commuting with fish, it flies close to the surface in a strong head wind, but 10–30 m (30–90 ft) above the water in a following wind. Unless migrating, normally it stays below 100 m (300 ft), and averages 30 km/h (18.6 mph) in the absence of a tail wind. Its average flight speed during the nocturnal migration flight is 43–54 km/h (27–33 mph) at a height of 1,000–3,000 m (3,200–9,700 ft). (Wikipedia)

The Agile Common Tern Photo

A Common Tern Diving For Fish At The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge In Oklahoma

Common Tern Photo

A Common Tern Searching For Fish At The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based wildlife photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Steve’s images are created from his overwhelming passion for being outdoors with cameras in tow.

0 thoughts on “The Agile Common Tern

  1. Ron Dudley

    I like that twisting turn (tern turn…) in that first shot, Steve.

  2. Steve Creek Post author

    Thanks Ron! It is amazing how they can twist there bodies in flight. Great play on words by the way. 🙂

  3. Dwynn

    Nice shots of a difficult-to-shoot bird, Steve. That first image is quite a catch. (Ron’s play on words and Barbara’s comment reminded me of a local chicken farm whose delivery trucks carry the message “Poultry in motion.”)