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Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

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Why Arctic Terns Have Short Beaks

The bill and legs of Arctic Terns are shorter than those of Common Terns. Because Arctic Terns breed in the Arctic and winter in the Antarctic, they are subject to much colder weather than are Common Terns. Birds' bills and legs lose heat, because they're not covered by feathers. Birds in cold... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Terns of Great Gull Island - Interview with Helen Hays

Helen Hays has been observing and banding the Common and Roseate Terns that nest on Great Gull Island since 1969. She's there with colleagues from the American Museum of Natural History and a host of dedicated volunteers. These terns nearly disappeared when plume-hunters slaughtered them for... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, science

In Celebration of Earth Day

The populations of some birds have declined dramatically ... more than 80% in the past 40 years. Here are a few: the Northern Bobwhite, the Evening Grosbeak, the Northern Pintail, and the Boreal Chickadee. Common Terns ... like this one ... migrate along both coasts and through the interior to... read more »

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