I found this bird on a beach in Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, FL. today, August 3, 2013. This bird caught my attention because it has three bands on its legs. What is it? -SLB
Bird seen at Fort De Soto County Park, August 3, 2013
This seems to be a Tern, perhaps a juvenile (but then why would it already have three bands?). If it is a Tern, I would guess it is a Sandwich (but I cannot see the yellow tip on the bill and it seems to dark overall), an Arctic or a Common.
I was going to post a photo of the adult Tern, but the site is acting up. Here’s a hint. This is the smallest Tern.
When I saw the bands, I looked on the internet to see who I should contact. I sent the photo to the name and email I located. This the email I received from Marianne Korosy. “Great find! This is a (fill in the blank) Tern that hatched in a nest on one of the floating rafts at Fort Desoto in 2012. It’s a year old now and isn’t mature enough yet to have nested for the first time but it returned to Pinellas County with a flock to spend the summer here. Thank you so much for reporting this sighting to me and for sending the photo. The band on the bird’s left leg is a actually a metal band, which often appears white with sunlight on it. That green over red combination was unique to the 14 chicks that fledged from the rafts last year.
Nice story, SLB!