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Progress on Cradle Mountain Master Plan

19/10/2017

An important milestone in the Cradle Mountain Master Plan project has been reached following a competitive tender process, with Cumulus Studio chosen to design the Cradle Mountain gateway precinct and the Dove Lake viewing shelter.More

Exciting new proposal for Tasmania's South East Cape

16/10/2017

Award-winning local tourism operator Ian Johnstone can now progress a new project to lease and licence negotiations under the Tourism Opportunities in Tasmania's National Parks, Reserves and Crown Land process.More

Wineglass Bay track upgrade complete

16/10/2017

One of Tasmania's most iconic tourism experiences, the walk to Wineglass Bay from the lookout to the beach, has now re-opened after a $500,000 upgrade initiated through the Government's Tourism Infrastructure in Parks fund.
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Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia

Description

The Caspian Tern is the largest tern in the world, with a length of 480–560 mm. The breeding plumage is white, with grey back and upper wings and dark primary feathers. The crown is black from bill to nape with a slight crest. The heavy bill is long and red-orange with a small black tip. In contrast to many other species of tern, the tail is only slightly forked.

Outside the breeding season, the crown is finely streaked with dark brown and the forehead is white. The sexes are similar. Immature birds are similar to non-breeding adults, while younger birds grey and brown mottling.

Habitat

Caspian Terns are generally coastal, but can also be found in large inland lakes and rivers, wetlands and sheltered estuaries. They occur singularly, in pairs or small groups.

Diet

Caspian Terns are plunge feeders, hovering above the water with bill pointing down, before diving to catch fish.

Breeding

Caspian Terns breed mainly on low offshore islands in single pairs or in small colonies. The breeding season runs from August/September through to January. The nest is a scrape in sand or shingle or among low vegetation. One to two eggs are laid.

Both sexes share nest-building, incubation and care of the young. Fledging occurs after 35–45 days.

Call

The call is a loud, harsh "kraa" often given in flight.
Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Distribution

Caspian Terns are found throughout the world. They can be seen in most coastal areas in Tasmania including King Island and the Furneaux islands. They occur in low numbers.

Threats

Like many shore birds, the Caspian Tern is subject to disturbance at breeding time by natural and feral species predation, high tides and human disturbance.