Chinese Birds
Chinese Birds 2013, 4(4) 306-313 DOI:   10.5122/cbirds.2012.0028  ISSN: 1674-7674 CN: 11-5870/Q

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White-winged Black Tern
wing molt
Michael J. DAWKINS
Clive D. T. MINTON
Article by Peter J. FULLAGAR
Article by Michael J. DAWKINS
Article by Clive D. T. MINTON

Biometrics and wing molt in White-winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) in north-west Australia

Peter J. FULLAGAR 1,*, Michael J. DAWKINS 2, Clive D. T. MINTON 3

1 Unit 1/11 Joy Cummings Place, Belconnen, ACT 2617, Australia 2 15 The Boulevarde, Wy Yung, Victoria 3875, Australia 3 165 Dalgetty Road, Beaumaris, Victoria 3193, Australia


We analyze morphometrics from a sample of 276 White-winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) caught in north-west Australia on 4 March 2011. An estimated 40000 terns were present — the largest concentration of this species yet reported from Australia. When comparing juveniles with adults, only wing length and body mass differed significantly; however, juveniles were still easily recognized by plumage and wing molt as late as March. There was little evidence of any dramatic weight gain in adults before their northward migration. No morphological characteristic distinguishing sex was found. We confirmed that terns caught in this study did not appear to differ morphologically from those of the western palearctic populations. We describe wing molt based on data from 354 individuals captured and banded in Australia over 28 years. Wing molt proceeds in much the same way as found in other small terns.

Keywords White-winged Black Tern   morphometrics   wing molt   Australia   feeding   roosting  
Received 2012-11-15 Revised  Online: 2013-10-03 
DOI: 10.5122/cbirds.2012.0028
Corresponding Authors: Peter J. Fullagar
About author:

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