1119. Caspian Tern.
Sterna caspia, Pall. Nov Comm. Petrop, xiv. p. 582, tab. xxii. fig. 2, (1770) ; Naum. x. p. 18, Taf. 248 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 477, pl. cxxxi. figs. 2, 3 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 414 ; (id.), B. of Gt. Brit. y. pl. 68 ; Dresser, viii. p. 289, pl. 584 ; (David and Oust.), Ois. Chine, p. 522 ; (Saunders), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxv. p. 32 ; id. Manual, p. 641 ; Lilford, vi. p. 11, pl. 5 ; (Blanf.), F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 309 ; (Tacz.), F. O. Sib. O. p. 1006 ; S. tschegrava, Lepechin, Nov. Comm. Petrop, xiv. p. 500 (1770) ; Ridgway, p. 39 ; S. strenuus (Gould), P.Z.S. 1846, p. 21 ; (id.), B. of Austral, vii. pl. 22.
Sterne tschegrava, French ; Garnica, Span. ; Beccapesci mag¬giore, Ital. ; Raub-Meerschwalbe, German ; Reus-Zeezwaluw, Dutch ; Rov-Terne, Dan. ; Skrantarna, Swed. ; Raukutirra, Finn. ; krashka-tschegrava, Russ. ; Abou-Belaha, Arab. ; Kekra, in Sind.
Male ad. (Dobrudscha). Crown to just below the eye and nape glossy black ; nuchal feathers elongated ; mantle French-grey ; rest of upper parts, tail, and under parts white ; quills hoary grey, the margins of the inner webs slate-grey ; bill bright coral-red ; blackish at the tip ; legs black ; iris dark brown. Culmen 2.9, wing 15.5, tail 6.0, outer feathers 1.3 longer than the middle ones, tarsus 1.8 inch. In winter the crown is white striped with black ; a blackish patch in front of the eye ; bill orange-red, tipped with horn-colour.
Hab. Europe, north to the head of the Gulf of Bothnia ; an irregular visitor to England ; Africa south to the Cape and Madagascar ; Asia, north to Southern Dauria, east to China, south to India, Ceylon, and Burma ; the Malay Archipelago, Australia, and New Zealand ; North America generally, rarer on the Pacific coast, ranging south in winter to Florida on the east and Mexico on the west side.
Frequents the sea coasts, seldom inland waters. It feeds chiefly on fish, but is said also to sometimes devour young birds of the smaller Terns. Its note is a loud, deep, harsh craak, craa. It breeds either in pairs or in communities, placing its eggs on the ground ; these, 2 to 3 in number, are usually deposited late in May or early in June, and vary in ground¬colour from stone-grey to stone-buff with a greenish tinge, and are marked with purplish grey shell blotches, and blackish- brown surface spots, blotches, and blotchy lines. In size they measure about 2.45 by 1.75.
1119. Sterna caspia
1119. Caspian Tern.