Tim,

There's an error here.

Regardless of what's true of any given bird, note the following 
equivalenciesduring June-July in NYS:

Juvenile = HY = hatching-year
First-summer = SY = Second calendar year
Second-summer = TY = Third calendar year (but caveat: many this age look like 
adults, and some adults look like this, hence "type")
Adult = ATY = After Third calendar year.

With terns:

1. the first-summer plumage (=SY =second calendar year) is usually highly 
stereotyped; this is the "portlandica" plumage; one year-old birds that differ 
obviously and consistently from breeding adults.

2. the second-summer type plumage (associated with but not identical to TY = 
third calendar year) is highly variable. Part of this arises because it 
comprises some actual TY birds (two years old; but note, many TY birds attain 
definitive adult appearance), and also a percentage of older, fully adult birds 
that are not in prime condition (very old Common Terns >20 years old often look 
like this).

Below are links to a series of second-summer type Arctic Tern individuals, 
spanning the gamut from very delayed (almost portlandica-looking) to nearly 
adult looking. The Arctic Terns that show up on LI are non-breeders, and they 
range from classic first-summers through all manner of second-summer types to 
almost adult-looking birds. But among the latter, they almost always show some 
defect from full breeding adult condition, and these occur all through June and 
early July. Thus I tend to suspect them as mainly seond-summer = TY = Third 
year = two year-olds.

https://flic.kr/p/VVHtaZ
https://flic.kr/p/VhQ65U
https://flic.kr/p/VT2po6
https://flic.kr/p/VCjr6C
https://flic.kr/p/VPwvqd
https://flic.kr/p/VT2pRk
https://flic.kr/p/VCjq6G
https://flic.kr/p/VT2rrp
https://flic.kr/p/VT2otk
https://flic.kr/p/VhQ6fo

Best,
Shai


________________________________________
From: bounce-122646499-3714...@list.cornell.edu 
[bounce-122646499-3714...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Timothy Healy 
[tp...@cornell.edu]
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 7:28 PM
To: Steve Walter
Cc: NYSBIRDS
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach Arctic Tern and others

This is where many banders and field biologists often use the abbreviations SY 
and ASY, for second year and after second year. The second year, a.k.a. second 
summer a.k.a. year old, plumages for many species are pretty definitive, and 
quite distinct from adults. In the case of COTE and ARTE, birds stay in a 
plumage that resembles their initial juvenile coloration for their second 
calendar year. The black-billed, white-foreheaded birds that are so abundant at 
the beach this season are coming up on a year old. This “imperfect” adult 
Arctic, with only some smudges, flecks, and short streamers to separate it from 
a classic mature bird, is probably at least two years old. I certainly don’t 
think it was born during the last season, which is what I understand makes a 
second summer bird. It may be in its third summer, or maybe it’s older and just 
a little funky. I reported it on eBird as ASY, because it is definitely far 
more progressed than the typical yearling birds loafing around the inlets.

Cheers!
-Tim H

On Jun 18, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Steve Walter 
<swalte...@verizon.net<mailto:swalte...@verizon.net>> wrote:

Tim,

In normal conversation, I typically use the phrase “two year old” for birds 
that I suspect were born two summers ago. But as the conversation of recent 
days has alluded, there can be adults that for whatever reason, are not 
complete. And adult traits may not develop in sync in younger birds. Looking 
back at the weekend’s posts, I saw that Pat Lindsay made a point about her 
“second summer type” having a black bill. Today’s had a red bill. So a two year 
old? Probably. But definitely? Maybe, maybe not. It looks like it – so “second 
summer type” works for the public record.

Steve


From: Timothy Healy [mailto:tp...@cornell.edu]
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 6:49 PM
To: Steve Walter <swalte...@verizon.net<mailto:swalte...@verizon.net>>
Cc: NYSBIRDS <nysbird...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:nysbird...@list.cornell.edu>>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach Arctic Tern and others

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.

Cheers!
-Tim H

On Jun 18, 2018, at 6:05 PM, Steve Walter 
<swalte...@verizon.net<mailto:swalte...@verizon.net>> 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 
http://stevewalternature.com/ .

Steve Walter
Bayside, NY
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