Forster's tern


Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) Details

Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, is a medium-sized seabird with a white forehead, black cap, and gray wings. It has a long, forked tail and a black bill. It is found in coastal areas of North America, breeding in freshwater marshes and lakes. Its lifespan is up to 15 years, and its current population is estimated to be around 1.2 million individuals.

Name Origin: Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, is named after the German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster. Forster was an 18th century explorer and scientist who accompanied Captain James Cook on his second voyage around the world. He was the first to describe the species in 1788, and the name was later given to the bird in his honor.

Related Species: Sterna hirundo, Sterna paradisaea, Sterna dougallii, Sterna bergii, Sterna albifrons

Sterna forsteri scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Aves

Class: Aves

Order: Aves

Family: Laridae

Genus: Charadriiformes

Species: Tern

Understanding the Forster's tern habitat

Sterna forsteri is a coastal bird that prefers to live in shallow waters near the shoreline. They are most commonly found in areas with sandy beaches, mudflats, and salt marshes. These areas provide them with plenty of food sources, such as small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. They also provide them with a safe place to nest and breed. The unique features of their habitat include a variety of vegetation, such as grasses, shrubs, and trees. Other animals that can be found in the same habitat include shorebirds, ducks, and wading birds. With the right living conditions, Sterna forsteri can thrive in their coastal environment.

Native country: N. America, Eurasia

Native continent: The Sterna forsteri is native to North America.

Other organisms found in habitat: Zostera marina, Ulva lactuca, Mytilus edulis, Crangon crangon, Carcinus maenas

Physical characteristics of the Sterna forsteri

Appearance Summary: Sterna forsteri is a medium-sized seabird with a white head, neck, and underparts, and gray upperparts. It has a black cap, a white forehead, and a black bill. Its wings are long and pointed, and its tail is forked. It has a long, slender neck and long legs. Its feet are webbed and its toes are long. It has a short, hooked bill and a short, rounded head. It has a white rump and a white tail with a black tip.

Facial description: Sterna forsteri has a black cap, white forehead, and a white chin. Its bill is black and its eyes are dark brown. Its neck and upperparts are grayish-brown, while its underparts are white. Its legs and feet are black.

What are the distinct features of Forster's tern? Long, pointed wings, white forehead, black cap, white underparts, gray back, yellow bill, loud, piercing calls, migratory, forages for food in shallow waters, feeds on fish, crustaceans, and insects, nests in colonies on beaches and islands

What makes them unique?

Forster's tern body color description: The most common colors of Sterna forsteri are gray, white, and black.

skin type: The exterior of Sterna forsteri is smooth and glossy, with a white underside and a grey-brown upper side. Its wings are pointed and its tail is forked.

Strengths: High mobility, Ability to fly, Ability to forage, Ability to migrate, Ability to adapt to changing environments, Ability to form large colonies, Ability to recognize predators, Ability to recognize food sources

Weaknesses: Poor flying ability, Limited diet, Low reproductive rate, Limited habitat range, Susceptible to environmental changes, Vulnerable to predation, Low genetic diversity

Common Forster's tern behavior

Sterna forsteri behavior summary: Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, is a migratory bird that spends its summers in North America and winters in Central and South America. It is a graceful flyer, often seen hovering over the water before diving for its prey. It is also a strong swimmer and can walk on land. To hide from predators, it will often tuck its head and blend in with its surroundings. To fight, it will use its sharp beak and talons to defend itself. It is a social bird, often seen in large flocks, and it interacts with its environment by foraging for food in shallow waters.

How do they defend themselves? Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, defends itself from attacks by using its sharp beak and talons to peck and scratch at predators. It also has the ability to fly away quickly if it feels threatened.

How do Forster's tern respond to stimuli in their environment? Vocalizations, Posture, Visual Displays

How do Forster's tern gather food? Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, is a migratory bird that hunts for food by diving into the water from the air. It needs to find small fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects to survive. The Forster's Tern faces challenges such as competition from other birds and changes in water levels due to climate change, which can make it difficult to find food.

How do Forster's tern communicate in their environment? Sterna forsteri communicates with other organisms through vocalizations, visual displays, and tactile interactions. These behaviors are used to establish and maintain social relationships, defend territories, and attract mates. Sterna forsteri also uses chemical cues to detect food sources and predators.

Examples: Sterna forsteri,Vocalizations,Producing sounds with its bill and wings; Sterna forsteri,Visual displays,Flapping wings and head bobbing; Sterna forsteri,Chemical signals,Producing odors from its preen gland

How does the Forster's tern get territorial? Defend Nest Site, Defend Feeding Area, Defend Roosting Site

Diet and Predators

Diet Summary: Sterna forsteri primarily feeds on small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and insects. It also consumes some plant material, such as algae and eelgrass. Toxic and unhealthy foods for this organism include plastic and other debris, which can be mistaken for food.

Predators: Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, is threatened by a variety of predators, environmental changes, and negative impacts to its population growth. These include predation from larger birds, habitat destruction due to coastal development, and the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and increased storm intensity. These factors have caused a decrease in the population of Forster's Terns, making them a species of conservation concern.

Threats: Habitat Loss, Pollution, Overfishing, Predation by Mammals, Predation by Birds

Life cycle & population of the Sterna forsteri & Aves

Life cycle: Sterna forsteri reproduces by laying eggs in a nest on the ground. The eggs hatch after about three weeks and the chicks are cared for by both parents. The chicks fledge after about five weeks and become independent after about two months. The adults molt and become reproductively mature after one year.

Average litter or reproduction: 3.5

Average offspring size: 15-20 cm

Most common health issues: Respiratory Disease, Gastrointestinal Disease, Parasitic Disease, Bacterial Disease, Viral Disease, Fungal Disease, Nutritional Deficiencies, Stress-Related Disease, Injury, Poisoning

Threats: Habitat Loss, Pollution, Overfishing, Predation by Mammals, Predation by Birds

Common diseases that threaten the Forster's tern population: Avian Pox, Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, West Nile Virus, Botulism, Salmonellosis, Aspergillosis, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydiosis, Mycoplasmosis

Population: Sterna forsteri's population has been in decline since the 1990s, with a peak population of around 1,000,000 individuals in the early 1990s. In the last ten years, the population has decreased from around 600,000 individuals in 2010 to around 500,000 individuals in 2020.

Forster's tern Environment

How do Forster's tern adapt to their environment Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, is a migratory bird that has adapted to its environment by having a long, pointed wingspan that allows it to soar and glide for long distances. This adaptation helps the bird to migrate from its breeding grounds in North America to its wintering grounds in Central and South America. This adaptation also helps the bird to find food sources in different areas, as it can cover large distances quickly.

What's their social structure? Sterna forsteri is a species of seabird that lives in large colonies. They are at the top of the food chain, feeding on small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. They interact with their family and species by forming strong social bonds, with the adults caring for their young and defending their territory. They also form strong pair bonds, with the same pair often returning to the same nesting site year after year.

How would you describe their survival instincts? Sterna forsteri, commonly known as the Forster's Tern, is a migratory bird that has adapted to survive in a variety of environments. It has a keen sense of sight and hearing, allowing it to quickly respond to changes in its environment. It is also able to detect changes in air pressure, temperature, and humidity, which helps it to identify potential threats and take evasive action. The Forster's Tern is also able to recognize and remember the location of food sources, allowing it to quickly return to them when needed.