Terns are readily distinguished from gulls by their forked tails, straight pointed bills, slender shape and long, narrow wings. Their steady wing beats and buoyant movements have earned them the name "sea swallows".
Although web-footed, they swim poorly and seldom rest on the water. Their plumage is predominantly white, grey and black and, as with many colonial waterbirds, the sexes are not easily differentiated.
The Forster's Tern and the Black Tern nest in wetlands. The Black Tern prefers shallow marshes associated with lakes, ponds, rivers and water impoundments, while the Forster's Tern is generally found in the inaccessible, deep-water portions of large cattail marshes.
In August, it seemed as if the tern in the picture was there in the morning on our way to fish as well as on the way back. No, he isn't in the water, he is resting on a dead head, ( water logged tree which may have been left over from the logging days in the area). We are grateful for the tern for showing us where it is, although it is marked on the GPS mapping device as well.
It is read that if terns are alarmed and leave their nest of eggs, the sea gulls will swoop in and eat the eggs. Honest, we did see the 'do not disturb sign'.