Roseate Tern


Sterna dougallii

A: Rooiborssterretjie


A uncommon bird – present on the east coast of South Africa, with its stronghold in the Eastern Cape. In breeding plumage, has a pinkish wash on the breast, long tail streamers and a think black bill (with a red base). It has a general pale grey colouring. In non-breeding plumage, the pale grey colour is kept, and it lacks any distinct black markings in the wings (as with similar Terns), long tail streamers and a thin black bill. The bird has a very ‘elegant’ feel to it. It is also not as large as the other terns. This bird came as a welcomed bonus whilst searching for the Hudsonian Godwit at St Francis Bay. The incoming tide kept pushing them closer, and they would do a fly-by every now and again. #799 on my list it was!!

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