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All Photos Are Copyright Lyn S. Atherton

This page was last updated on 12/02/01.

Elegant Terns--9/21-23/01, Ft. De Soto Park, Pinellas Co., Florida

On 9/21 and 9/22 at East Beach Point, I found and photographed what I believe was a hatching-year Elegant which lacked the smudging on the bill shown by the immature of 8/17/01. The two immatures appeared quite similar in plumage, so it is quite possible these were the same birds and that the smudging on the bill was lost in a month's time. Then on 9/23, while looking for the previous days' immature, Jill Gaetzi and Jeanne Duby located an adult basic-plumaged Elegant resting at the Gulf Pier beach location. I was able to photograph this bird and I suspect it is the adult of the previous spring, since adult Elegants moult into basic plumage by August or September (Olsen and Larsson).

Immature
Adult