Occurrence of the Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea in the Czech Republic and Europe, its identification Vyskyt rybaka dlouhoocaseho Sterna paradisaea v Cesku a Evrope, jeho urcovani

Vavrik, M.; Faunisticka komise CSO.

Zpravy MOS 62: 11-23


Accession: 038488458

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In the Czech republic, Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) was recorded only three times before 1992, but nine times between 1992-2001. Most records are from spring migration between 18. 4. and 12. 6., two are from August. Only adult birds have been recorded, mainly single ones, but also two and three together. Birds were recorded at ponds, gravel-pits and industrial lakes. The occurrence in the Europe is shortly discussed; distribution of breeding, migration and inland records is shown in Fig. 1, records from inland central Europe are summarised in Fig. 2. Arctic Terns visit inland Europe mainly during spring migration, less commonly during summer and autumn, when also more first-year birds have been recorded. The current knowledge of the identification of Arctic Terns is also discussed. The main feature of adult birds is pattern of underwing (primaries), another important features are upperwing pattern, bill colour and shape, colour of underparts, head pattern and colour of tail feathers. First-year Common Terns are easily distinguished from first-year Arctic Terns by the pattern of upperwing (presence of dark secondary bar). Some potential pitfalls (other tern species, east races of Common Tern and special circumstances) are mentioned. It is probable that Arctic Terns use inland routes more often than, was earlier supposed, but they migrate too high during mild weather and stay unregistered unless they are forced to fly lower and visit some inland sites.