Monday, November 15, 2010

Birdlife of New Caledonia 2009- Threatened Stern Birds

New Caledonia Post has issued the birdlife stamp series 2009 which depicted the Threatened   Stern birds i.e: Sterna nereis, Sterna diamant, Sterna dougalli of their country.

Sterna nereis (75F),
Sterna nereis or The Fairy Tern  is a small tern which occurs in the south-western Pacific.There are three subspecies, one of them is New Caledonian Fairy Tern, Sterna nereis exsul - breeds in New Caledonia.The Fairy Tern is recently uplisted to Vulnerable status in 2008

 Sterna diamant or Sterna sumatrana (75F),
Sterna sumatrana  or The Black-naped Tern is an oceanic tern mostly found in tropical and subtropical areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is rarely found inland.
Sterna sumatrana sized is about 30 cm long with a wing length of 21–23 cm. Their charaterized are black colour on the beaks and legs , but yellow colour on the tips of their bills . They have long forked tails.The Black-naped tern has a white face and breast with a grayish-white back and wings.
Sterna dougallii  (75F),
Sterna dougallii or The Roseate Tern is a small-medium tern, 33–36 cm long with a 67–76 cm wingspan which breeds on the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America, and winters south to the Caribbean and west Africa.This species breeds in colonies on coasts and islands. It nests in a ground scrape, often in a hollow or under dense vegetation, and lays one or two (rarely three) eggs.Sterna dougallii feeds by plunge-diving for fish, almost invariably from the sea. The distinctive behaviour of the Roseate Tern shows some kleptoparasitic behaviour, stealing fish from other seabirds. In the late 19th century, these birds were hunted for their plumes which were used to decorate hats. More recently, their numbers have decreased in some regions due to increased competition and predation by large gulls, whose numbers have increased in recent times.

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