Turn Your Head and There is a Tern


I get caught off guard a lot. I am always looking at one thing when something else a little more interesting might be going on. I have yet to figure out how to have eyes in the back of my head like I swear some of those lucky photographers do that catch the right moments.


I like seeing terns because I don’t see them that often. We are at an important position at the edge of their migration to Canada. This year there seems to be more of them, probably as a result of the restoration efforts for the common tern, implemented as a result of the New York Power Authority’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing of its Niagara Power Project. It was the largest and most successful restoration project for the tern in the Great Lakes and northeast U.S. in 2012. The common tern is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Well today, I was not really shooting terns but Great Blue Heron. They can be an ornery bird sometimes. Just look at that face! Maybe they are mad because along the river they now have two jet boat operations going which is not too good for the heron’s nesting sites.



This one went off making lots of noise.


Well anyway, what I was missing to my left was the tern catching a beakful of fish.



I did see him catch the fish, but was not quite ready with the camera. I fired off 10 shots and did get him as he was leaving fish in beak. Did you know terns fly a lot faster than herons? Especially when having takeout dinner in beak. It was exciting to see him fishing even though I was not quite ready for the action.


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15 Responses to Turn Your Head and There is a Tern

  1. It has been a while since I have seen a tern….love their look and name!

  2. Ludwig says:

    Beautiful photography! Having just spent an afternoon chasing terns with a camera i can appreciate your fine work even more.

  3. Lyle Krahn says:

    Eyes at the back of my head is a great idea! Where do I buy them? Great shots.

  4. Lovely shots, love the first shot of the Great blue Heron.

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    I like your new blog, Donna, and the tern photos are excellent. 🙂

  6. Nick Hunter says:

    You’re getting some really good flight shots Donna – impossible to pick a favorite! I’ve never had a close encounter with terns, but they look like a challenging subject – color, speed, size, etc..

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