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.

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