Steve and other sternid enthusiasts,

Isn’t second summer the term used for the immature aspect birds with white 
foreheads and black bills? A freshly fledged juvenile would be living through 
its first summer, so second summer individuals are yearlings, correct? If my 
understanding of the nomenclature is accurate, the bird I found yesterday, 
which matches Steve’s description and the photos of Tripper’s bird from Friday, 
would be in its third summer or older. At a glance it looks like a classic 
alternate plumage adult ARTE, but the faint darker smudging on the carpal bar 
and the tail streamers that don’t extend beyond the folded wingtips indicate 
that it is not fully mature. I saw a similarly marked individual at Nickerson 
last year, and in 2015 I got a photo of an adult-like ARTE with a surprisingly 
dark bill. The variation in age classes and species of terns is so fascinating. 
I’ve learned a lot from these discussions about Arctics, Roseates, and the 
mysterious dark Commons. Mornings and afternoons at the colonies and inlets are 
one of my favorite parts of early summer here on Long Island. 

-Tim H

> On Jun 18, 2018, at 6:05 PM, Steve Walter <> wrote:
> Another day, another Arctic Tern at Nickerson Beach. Actually, my first for 
> the year, and this one had to be waited on. It might have been too foggy in 
> the morning for it to find land (joke). Interesting bird this one. My tern 
> guru advises me to call it a “second summer type”. Basically adult looking 
> with a red bill, but with a carpal bar and speckling on the forehead (not 
> well visible in the picture I posted). In a similar vein, there was a Roseate 
> Tern of less than full adult appearance. This bird, and also a full adult, 
> had readable blue legs bands. Maybe others have seen this, but this is the 
> first time I’ve seen terns with something more readable in the field than the 
> metal bands. I’ll reports these (bands B97 and Y11) and find out more in due 
> time. But perhaps someone on this list might know something (Joe D?).  Also, 
> a Gull-billed Tern flying over the east tern colony around mid-day. Pictures 
> of the Arctic and Roseates have been added to the bottom of the Recent Work 
> page at my web site .
> Steve Walter
> Bayside, NY
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