1121. GULL-BILLED TERN.
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.
1121. Sterna anglica
1121. GULL-BILLED TERN.