It was like a Royal Tern convention came to town when Andy shot this photo last week!
It was a rather bizarre scene seeing this many birds together and we’re so glad Andy was able to capture the gathering.
Royal terns are shorebirds, rarely straying far inland. When winter weather approaches, they can be found on Florida beaches and along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts as far north as North Carolina.
Many associate the royal tern with a “male pattern baldness” look. For a short time during breeding season, an adult royal tern sports a black skull cap that covers the top of the head. During the rest of the year, however, the black feathers recede to the back and sides of the head, leaving the top sheer white. Come the next breeding season, the full black skull cap returns, showing us that they’re not as “follicle challenged” as we might think!