"Catch of the Day!" Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans)
Moss Landing, California
This rare image of an elegant tern with three anchovies neatly lined up in its beak is one of those once in a lifetime moments that will probably never be repeated!
I am very honored to have received to date the following recognition:
2015 North American Nature Photography Showcase - Top 250
2015 California Watchable Wildlife Photography Competition - First Place & Featured in November/December Issue of California Outdoors Magazine
2015 Elkhorn Slough Foundation Calendar - Featured for the Month of June
Approximately 90-97% of all elegant terns nest in one colony on Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California, Mexico. The Elegant Tern was first found nesting in the United States in 1959 in San Diego Bay, California. Since the 1980s, several more colonies have been established in California. A social bird, the elegant tern calls frequently with a distinctive ke-e-e-r. The diet consists mainly of fish, particularly northern anchovy, as well as occasional crustaceans, with prey caught by hovering and then plunge-diving into shallow water. The elegant tern is often the victim of piracy by other seabirds, which attack the tern to steal its prey.
In the past, the elegant tern has been greatly affected by egg-collecting, particularly on Isla Rasa. Current threats include disturbance at nesting sites from urban development, tourism, predators such as rats, cats and feral dogs, and extensive mining for guano, as well as entanglement in fishing gear and competition with fisheries.
AnchoviesAvifaunaBirdsCaliforniaElegant TernFishHarborJacqueline Deely PhotographyMonterey BayMoss LandingNatureOceanThalasseus elegansUnited StatesWildlife