Gygis alba - White Tern

The white terns, sometimes called fairy terns, nested in the trees on Green Island. They seemed curious and would often follow people around.

Charles Darwin, in his Voyage of the Beagle, said this of some of the birds:

"The gannets, sitting on their rude nests, gaze at one with a stupid yet angry air. The noddies, as their name expresses, are silly little creatures. But there is one charming bird; it is a small snow white tern, which smoothly hovers at a distance of a few feet above one's head, its large black eye scanning, with quiet curiosity, your expression. Little imagination is required to fancy that so light and delicate a body must be tenanted by some wandering fairy spirit." Indeed.

White terns do not make a nest, but instead lay their eggs on any spot that might be appropriate. It might be in the crook of a tree or on a windowsill. We've even seen an egg sitting out on a large rock. No doubt the mother knows what it wants. The chicks must be born with strong feet since they seem to have no trouble hanging on.

This looks a little precarious.

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