Caspian Terns are the largest terns in the world, with a wingspan of up to nearly five feet. It’s hard to miss their large orange bill, but you’re not likely to see one in most of New England except during migration. (One exception is the Lake Champlain Islands in Vermont.) A few weeks after fledging, juvenile and adult terns gather at feeding sites near breeding areas and migrate south in stages. They sometimes migrate individually and sometimes in families or larger groups. The last of the migrants are passing overhead in the next few weeks, heading for overwintering sites along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines.
(Photo: The Caspian Tern flies over the water with its bill pointing down, looking for fish. When it locates its prey, it plunges into the water to capture it, sometimes submersing its entire body.)
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