Nesting Black Tern landing on Nest- Guifette Noire

December 23, 2010  •  Leave a Comment

Took this picture on Ile Bizard. This female was very agitated as two women were near her nest on the Boardwalk with two dogs. The signs clearly say NO DOGS, The Wildlife was clearly disturbed, but the two women had no idea their dogs were the source of disturbance. Even after a friendly explanation they were very upset that their little dogs could be discriminated against in such a way.

The Black Tern, Chlidonias niger, is a small tern generally found in or near inland water in Europe and North America. As its name suggests, it has predominantly dark plumage.

Adult are 25 cm (9.75 in) long, with a wing span 61 cm (24 in), and weigh 62 g (2.2 oz). They have short dark legs and a short, weak-looking black bill, measuring 27-28 mm, nearly as long as the head. The bill is long, slender, and looks slightly decurved. They have a dark grey back, with a white forehead, black head, neck (occasionally suffused with gray in the adult) and belly, black or blackish-brown cap (which unites in color with the ear coverts, forming an almost complete hood), and a light brownish-grey, ‘square’ tail. The face is white. There is a big dark triangular patch in front of the eye, and a broadish white collar in juveniles. There are grayish-brown smudges on the ides of the white breast, a downwards extension of the plumage of the upperparts. These marks vary in size and are not conspicuous. In non-breeding plumage, most of the black, apart from the cap, is replaced by grey. The plumage of the upperparts is drab, with pale feather-edgings. The rump is brownish-gray.

The North American race, C. n. surinamensis, is distinguishable from the European form in all plumages, and is considered by some to be a separate species.

In flight, the build appears slim. The wing-beats are full and dynamic, and flight is often erratic as it dives to the surface for food; similar to other tern species.

La Guifette noire (Chlidonias niger) est un oiseau aquatique appartenant à la famille des Laridae.

Au siècle dernier, elle était largement distribuée au niveau français. A l’heure actuelle, la zone de reproduction de la Guifette noire ne concerne plus que les marais de la façade atlantique.

La Guifette noire capture insectes, petits poissons, crustacés et batraciens en volant au ras de l’eau. Elle se pose souvent sur des poteaux ou des bouées entre deux expéditions de pêche.

Elle est présente en France en été, au-dessus des lagunes, marais et étangs de la façade Atlantique. Les principaux sites de nidification sont les marais de Brière, la Brenne, le Marais Poitevin et le Marais de Rochefort.

Le nid est constitué de tiges et de plantes aquatiques dans les marais. La femelle effectue une ponte de 3 œufs en mai et juin.

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