|Forster's Tern. Imperial Beach, California. July 4, 2014. Greg Gillson.|
Most of the birds were far away across the heat-shimmering shallow ponds. Many of the terns were commuting out to the anchovies in the ocean across the narrow Silver Strand Beach to the west. The Forster's Terns, however, were hunting along the shore of the bay. Such was the one photographed above as it flew over me, back-lit in the harsh sun.
Many people say "Forester's," but this is not correct. In 1834 this tern was named by Thomas Nuttall after Johann R. Forster, a German naturalist who accompanied Cook in his second voyage around the world in 1772.