[Tweeters] Interesting Caspian Tern Behavior

John Riegsecker jriegsecker at pobox.com
Fri Oct 1 20:15:25 PDT 2021

Today while watching the terns at Coulter Creek County Park I saw a
juvenile Caspian Tern "playing" with a stick. This evening, while going
through my photos I discovered I had photographed a Caspian Tern flying
with a stick which it dropped, and then dove into the water to retrieve.
It then carried it back to the group of terns.

Birds of the world has this to say:

Two adults were observed on repeated occasions flying over a lake,
carrying small dark objects in bills; from time to time they dropped the
objects but retrieved them before they hit the water (132). Other
investigators have observed 2 adults playing with a stick (in 1 case
about 12 cm long) in a manner similar to that described by King (J.
Quinn pers. comm., FJC).

Curious if others have seen this. Some photos and eBird list here:


John Riegsecker

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