Wednesday, November 3, 1999

Forster's Tern at El Agallito

A first-winter Forster's Tern was discovered mixed in with a flock of terns at El Agallito, Chitré.

A first winter Forster's Tern was picked out from a mixed flock of terns at Playa El Agallito, Chitré, on November 3rd, 1999, by Darién and Camilo Montañez. The flock included Royal, Sandwich, Gull-billed and Common Terns for easy comparison. The main fieldmark, which was impossible to miss, were the black eye patches similar to those of the nearby Gull-billed Terns. the gray nape separated the white top of the head from the light gray mantle and back. There was not a trace of a dark carpal bar. The bill was black and the red legs were evidently longer than those of the Common Terns on the flock, giving the bird a different jizz. In flight, the wings showed no dark on the leading or trailing edges, and the tail was not as deeply forked as that of the Common Terns. This is the second report of Forster's Tern from El Agallito, and only the third report from outside the Canal Area.

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