Greater Crested Terns

Greater Crested Terns, or Swift Terns, (Thalasseus bergii), at the Sunday’s River mouth, 45 km from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, announcing the arrival of winter. There are an estimated  6,336 breeding pairs in South Africa and up to 1,682 pairs in Namibia. They also breed around the Indian Ocean to tje central Pacific and Australial. This species can be easily distinguished by its large size and yellow bill – Photo, April.

They are gull-like in appearance, but typically have a lighter build, long pointed wings (which give them a fast, buoyant flight), a deeply forked tail and long bulgy legs. Most species are grey above and white below, and have a black cap which is reduced or flecked with white in the winter.