Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

Little Tern

Little Tern

The Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) is a small seabird breeding in Europe and Asia, but migrating much further south during the winter months (up to South Africa and Australia). In Europe, the species is the smallest and rarest of all occurring terns. The birds breed in colonies at the coast or on sandbanks of larger rivers. Similar to other terns, they aggressively defend their nests and attack intruders. They feed mostly on fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, which are caught by diving into the watere from the air. The species’ population plummeted drastically during the 20th century due to pollution, habitat loss, and human disturbance at its breeding sites. While beaches were used more extensively for recreational activites, the river courses became more regulated leading to the disappearance of sand banks. Although some of its habitats have become protected in the meantime, the species is still considered threatened by extinction in most European countries. I have photographed these agile little birds at the coast of the Baltic Sea in northern Germany in May 2015.

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

Little Tern

3 responses to “Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

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