Biometrics and wing molt in White-winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) in north-west Australia

Peter J. FULLAGAR, Michael J. DAWKINS, Clive D. T. MINTON
2013 Chinese Birds  
We analyze morphometrics from a sample of 276 White-winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) caught in north-west Australia on 4 March 2011. An estimated 40000 terns were present -the largest concentration of this species yet reported from Australia. When comparing juveniles with adults, only wing length and body mass differed significantly; however, juveniles were still easily recognized by plumage and wing molt as late as March. There was little evidence of any dramatic weight gain in
more » ... eight gain in adults before their northward migration. No morphological characteristic distinguishing sex was found. We confirmed that terns caught in this study did not appear to differ morphologically from those of the western palearctic populations. We describe wing molt based on data from 354 individuals captured and banded in Australia over 28 years. Wing molt proceeds in much the same way as found in other small terns.
doi:10.5122/cbirds.2012.0028 fatcat:ft7gixzu6bcwtj2ib6dsb2jiee