Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-

Common name:

Least Tern

Scientific name: Sterna antillarum
Date: 6-3-05
Time:  ~1:00p
Length of time observed: 30-40 min
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Location: Beaver River Bottoms area, north of Milford along 257
County: Millard
Latilong: 14
Elevation: ~ 4900 ft
Distance to bird: 10-100 m
Optical equipment: 10 x 42 binoculars
Weather: partly cloudy
Light Conditions: mid-day
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Very small and active tern with relatively long wings, deeply forked tail, and long bill. Overall light colored (whitish - gray) with black cap and relatively long, thin yellow bill. Black cap extended from top of bill, through bottom of eye and down onto upper nape of neck, incomplete with white forehead patch in front of eyes and above bill. Eye black. Wings long and tapered, silvery white below, grayish white above except for dark blackish leading primaries. Tail forked, grayish white, outer tail feathers noticeably whiter when viewed from above. (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: silent
Behavior: Actively flying around, occasionally diving into water.
Rapid, bouyant flight with deep wingbeats.
Habitat: Alkali lake flats
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Distingished from other small terns by combination of white forehead, yellow bill, and black leading primaries.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Very familiar with North American terns.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: 3505 West 290 North, Hurricane UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Kevin Wheeler and Pam Larson
Date prepared: June 10, 2005
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: