Date: 6/7/18 5:08 pm From: Long Island Birding <michaelzito...> Subject: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach - Possible Common Tern (longipennis) Species - Comments and thoughts welcome
Hello all, On 5/22 at Nickerson Beach I observed a Common Tern that stood out from the rest. It was the same size/shape as the other common terns, but the bill and legs were much darker. I showed the bird to a friend who is an eBird reviewer and he suggested that it was a Common Tern (longipennis). He also mentioned that this particular subspecies has been previously reported on Long Island. Looking up those reports, I found there were two entries with photos by Jay McGowan and Michael McBrien on eBird, described by both as exceedingly rare. Here are the checklists: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S14608476 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S30291552
After seeing this I was surprised, because I have seen birds that looked like this before (even one yesterday). In the past I have heard them referred to as portlandica type birds, but it is my understanding that portlandica refers to first summer tern plumage, which this bird clearly was not (I would say it was also clearly not second summer tern plumage either.....). My report was not accepted to eBird as of yet, so it is not in eBird output, but here is the bird I saw (Pictures in the linked eBird checklist and short video in youtube): https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46147297 https://youtu.be/qGdfoevCKxU
Anyway I would like to hear any thoughts or comments. Thanks, Mike Z.