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Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-17
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 800, Canon EF 2x Extender II
Exposure: f/16, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-07-17 22:08
Viewed: 3419
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A Caspian Tern fishing at Kuusistonlahti nature reserve in South-West Finland. I am posting another in-flight picture as WORKSHOP.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia, formerly Sterna caspia; syn. Hydroprogne tschegrava) is a species of tern, with a subcosmopolitan but scattered distribution. Despite its extensive range, it is monotypic, with no subspecies accepted. In New Zealand it is also known by the Maori name Taranui.
It is the world's largest tern 4856 cm long, with a wingspan of 127140 cm and a weight of 574782g. Adult birds have black legs, and a long thick red-orange bill with a small black tip. They have a white head with a black cap and white neck, belly and tail. The upper wings and back are pale grey; the underwings are pale with dark primary feathers. In flight, the tail is less forked than other terns and wing tips black on the underside. In winter, the black cap is still present (unlike many other terns), but with some white streaking on the forehead. The call is a loud heron-like croak.
Their breeding habitat is large lakes and ocean coasts in North America (including the Great Lakes), and locally in Europe (mainly around the Baltic Sea and Black Sea), Asia, Africa, and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). North American birds migrate to southern coasts, the West Indies and northernmost South America. European and Asian birds winter in the Old World tropics. African and Australasian birds are resident or disperse over short distances.
The global population is about 50,000 pairs; numbers in most regions are stable, but the Baltic Sea population (1,4001,475 pairs in the early 1990s) is declining and of conservation concern.
They feed mainly on fish, which they dive for, hovering high over the water and then plunging. They also occasionally eat large insects and the young and eggs of other birds. They may fly up to 60 km from the breeding colony to catch fish; it often fishes on freshwater lakes as well as at sea.
Breeding is in spring and summer, with one to three pale blue green eggs heavily spotted brown laid. They nest either together in colonies, or singly in mixed colonies of other tern and gull species. The nest is on the ground among gravel and sand, or sometimes on vegetation; incubation lasts for 2628 days. The chicks are variable in plumage pattern, from pale creamy to darker grey-brown; this variation assists adults in recognizing their own chicks when returning to the colony from feeding trips. Fledging occurs after 3545 days.
The Caspian Tern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Jamesp, Royaldevon, haraprasan, jaycee, Necipp, Luis52, marhowie, CeltickRanger, goldyrs has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-07-17 22:23]

Hi Pekka

Superb timing here my friend! To catch the tern in this pose and so sharply must have taken a lot of patience - I have tried many times and never had such a superb result.


Hello Pekka,

You have captured excellent movement in this 'still' photograph! You shot just at the right moment, as the legs were being tucked, ready for the downward charge! At dart heading for the bullseye is a good analogy!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Ottima ripresa di un particolare momento di azione!

Ciao e grazie, Emanuele

Hi Pekka,
A nice capture of this tern in flight. A bit OE but still then I like this. Superb details and a lovely composition. Very well timed. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-18 9:33]

Hi Pekka,

Both shots are wonderful but I really love this one in the diving pose ready to land. What patience and timing to get this. Absolutely beautiful - colors and sharpness are superb.


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-07-19 13:26]

Hello Pekka! It was shot at the right moment, very nicely composed and a brilliant technique, thanks!


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-07-19 14:18]

Hola Pekka.
Nice to see You here again My friend. Lovely colors in this excellent image. Very well frozen.

Hi Pekka,
Love the inflight pose as the bird begins its steep dive..
I like the POV/comp.
Great color, exposure, and details also.
Well done,

Hi Pekka,

Nice shot from this inflighht bird.
Suburp timing.


Hi Pekka, fantastic flying Tern with splendid focus, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

hello Pekka

excellent in-flight shot of the Caspian Tern
with superb timing to shoot it on that pose on the airs, TFS


Hello Pekka, Nice flight pose with good focus and background. Informative Notes also TFS rgds Necip

I do not know what to sa...is the timing perfect, or is it the focus?
Whatever...my eyes love this shot!
Keep 'em coming!

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