1121. Sterna anglica

Sterna anglica, Montag. Orn. Dict. Suppl, fig. (1813) ; Naum. x. p. 38, Taf. 249 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 476, pl. cxxxi. fig. 1 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 416 ; (id.), B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 74 ; Dresser, viii. p. 295, pl. 585 ; (Saunders), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxv. p. 25 ; id. Manual, p. 639 ; Lilford, vi. p. 9, pl. 4 ; S. aranea, Wils. Am. Orn. viii. p. 143, pl. 72, fig. 6 (1814) ; ? S. nilotica, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i. p. 606 (1788) ; (Ridgway), p. 38 ; 6’. macrotarsa, Gould, P.Z.S. 1837, p. 26 ; (id.), B. of Austral. Suppl, pl. 81 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1004.
Sterne hansel, French ; Golondrina de mar, Cagara, Span. ; Beccapesci-inglese, Ital. ; Lach-meerschwalbe, German ; Lach-Zeezwaluw, Dutch ; Engelsk-Terne, Dan. ; Tschernonosaya-Martyschka, Russ.
Male ad. (Turkey). Crown and nape glossy black leaving a white line along the edge of the gape ; chin, throat, sides of neck and under parts white ; upper parts with the tail pale bluish pearl-grey ; quills towards the tip and the inner web blackish grey, lighter in the centre ; bill and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 1.6, wing 11.65, tail 5.0, lateral tail-feathers 1.6 inch longer than the middle ones, tarsus 1.2. In winter the forehead is white, the nape greyish white striped with black ; space before the eye marked with black ; behind the eye a blackish stripe.
Hab. Europe, to about 55° N. lat. in summer; a rare straggler to Great Britain, but nests on the island of Sylt ; Northern Africa down to below Kordofan ; temperate and Southern Asia, north to Mongolia ; Manchuria ; in winter somewhat irregularly distributed in Burma, India, and Ceylon, and ranging as far south as Australia, where it breeds.
In habits it somewhat resembles S. cantiaca, but is more Gull-like, and its note, ef ef, or af af, is much more like that of a Gull. It feeds also largely on insects, orthoptera, coleoptera, and lepidoptera, locusts and grasshoppers. It breeds in com¬munities, the nest being a mere depression in the sand or soil, sometimes with a scanty lining of straws, and in May or early in June deposits 2 to 3, rarely 4 eggs. These vary in ground-colour from stone-ochre and greyish white to pale greenish brown marked with pale greyish brown shell spots, and greenish or reddish brown surface spots and blotches, and measure about 1.85 by 1.86.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
1121. Sterna anglica
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Gull Billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Gelochelidon nilotica
Vol. 2

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