To Everything Tern, Tern, Tern

So many of my new bird discoveries seem to happen when I am searching for something else.

About two weeks back, I was scanning the beach for the Piping Plover chicks down at Red River Beach.

Stretching my legs after a long squat, I noticed up the shore a small group of terns had come in for a landing.

Our smallest terns, the Leasts measure only about 8 or 9 inches and have yellow bills and legs as compared to the Common Terns that measure 12-15 inches and have red bills and legs (and differently shaped black face masks).

But I had never seen one up close before.

One pair that was nearest to me, didn’t seem to mind me staring.

In fact, they appeared to be oblivious to any of the other birds and luckily, to me.

Now terns are famous for their aerial and vocal displays during courtship.

This pair was engaged in the loveliest series of movements that I could only describe as a “dance”.

With yoga-like movements and poses, the male was slowly orbiting around his mate who held the center of an invisible circle.

Sometimes she would move as well, and both would strike a pose that was not only beautiful in its symmetry…

But also appeared to be attracting a crowd…  😉

Neither bird was in a hurry…


In a world of their own.

Just then and without any warning the male flew off, winging away out over the water!

Leaving his Lady Love alone on the beach gazing after him, looking more than a bit bewildered.

Was it something I said?

Yet before too long he was back.

And this time, with a delicious sushi picnic!

Feeling that it was time to give them their privacy, I couldn’t help thinking that just weeks ago it seemed my summer was going to be all about the plovers.

Now the terns have joined the mix.

And nothing could please me more.  ❤

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