Caspian Tern in flightCaspian Tern in flight – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 280mm, natural light

Caspian Terns (Hydroprogne caspia) are North America’s largest tern with a wingspan of 50 inches and weighing in at 1.4 pounds. The image above shows an adult going into nonbreeding plumage coming in for a landing at Fort De Soto’s north beach during the month of September.

Caspian Tern on a mudflatCaspian Tern on a mudflat – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 160, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light

This image shows an adult Caspian Tern in breeding plumage with a solid black, glossy cap, this was taken during the month of May also at Fort De Soto’s north beach.

I am fortunate that I see these large terns here in Utah as well. I usually hear their harsh “kraa” long before I see them. Although I have seen a few lately they will soon be gone to their wintering grounds.