Forster’s Terns soar above the water hunting for their prey. When they see a potential target they hover briefly to take a closer look. One they’ve decided to pursue their target they dive, nearly straight down, and splash into the water to make the catch. This one was eyeing a possible meal above the Gulf Coast of Florida.
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Diving Forster’s Tern
During a recent trip to the Florida Gulf Coast I was watching several Forster’s Terns as they hunted above the gulf. When they spotted a potential catch, they would hover for a second before diving, nearly straight down, into the water. I took lots of photos of them flying and hovering before I was able to capture this one just before it splashed into the water.
During a hike near the James River, I came across a group of Forster’s Terns flying above a stream. I watched as they floated, effortlessly in the air above the water. After a few seconds they would dive out of view and then come flying back up, circle around, and start over. I assume they were catching small fish but I couldn’t get close enough to be sure. The tern pictured here is hovering in position, waiting to dive.