Forster’s Tern in a Canada Goose nest

A Forster's Tern in a Canada Goose nestA Forster’s Tern in a Canada Goose nest – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

This Forster’s Tern wasn’t trying to take over this Canada Goose nest when I photographed it but it might look that way in this image. The man-made nest is located at Farmington Bay WMA in Davis County, Utah and this is what it looked like in June of 2012.

Forster’s Terns do breed in Utah but they wouldn’t select an elevated nest instead they use unlined scrapes in mud or sand, rafts of floating vegetation or at times on the top of muskrat lodges. The Forster’s Tern in breeding plumage shown in the image above was just taking a break between feeding and hunting and the nest was just a convenient rest stop.

I’ve photographed other bird species in or on this same nest including Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers.

Life is good.



  1. Elephant's Child November 21, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I assume the goose wouldn’t share readily if it was present though…

  2. April Olson November 21, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Would the tern rob the nest of the eggs?

  3. Patty Chadwick November 21, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Reminded me of the Canada geese in the Ospreys’ nesr, but that was a true takeover, not a just a brief resting place. The colors in this bird, the bright white, soft, silvery gray, sharp black, then those vivid, orangey-red legs, provide such beautiful contasts…nice!

  4. Bob Mcpherson November 21, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Wonderful image, Mia.

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