Monitoring a mystery bird in Yakutat - Kodiak Daily Mirror: Ned Rozell

Monitoring a mystery bird in Yakutat

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 9:00 am

YAKUTAT — On sandy barrier islands between mountains and the sea, two different birds that look alike lay their eggs side-by-side. Biologists here are learning more about the less-common, more mysterious one.

Arctic terns and Aleutian terns gather together on ocean spits to scratch out nest cups. Each is a graceful creature that distinguishes itself from a gull by the incessant slicing of its sharp wings through the air. Arctics, loud and quick to dart at any creature that walks near a nest, have pure black heads and pumpkin-orange beaks. Aleutians, more subdued, have white eyebrow patches and black beaks.

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