Story: Gulls, terns and skuas

White-fronted tern

White-fronted tern

White-fronted terns usually scoop surface-shoaling fish such as pilchards from the water without alighting. This requires a lot of skill, and parents feed young birds for several months so they have time to perfect the art. Males court females by delivering a fish held crosswise in their bill, as if to show off their prowess.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10031281
Photograph by Dave Crouchley

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Gulls, terns and skuas - White-fronted, sooty, Antarctic and Arctic terns', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/6135/white-fronted-tern (accessed 24 April 2019)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015