Image from page 371 of “A handbook of British birds, showing the distribution of the resident and migratory species in the British islands, with an index to the records of the rarer visitants” (1901)
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Title: A handbook of British birds, showing the distribution of the resident and migratory species in the British islands, with an index to the records of the rarer visitants
Year: 1901 (1900s)
Authors: Harting, James Edmund, 1841-1928
Subjects: Birds — Great Britain
Publisher: London, J.C. Nimmo
Contributing Library: American Museum of Natural History Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Biodiversity Heritage Library
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very ancient one,and is repeatedly mentioned by old writers. SeeWillughbys Ornithology, p. 349. The weight of a Gannet is about 8| lbs. Order XIV. GAVIiE Fam. LARID^. COMMON TERN. Sterna fiuviatilis,Naumsinn. PI. 33,fig. 1. Length, 14-25 in.; bill, 1*75 in.; wing, 10-5 in.;tarsus, 0-85 in. This bird was long regarded as the Sternahirundo of Linnseus; but the species described byhim under that name is evidently the Arctic Tern,as may be inferred from his description of the bill:—rostrum suhulatum, versus apicem compressum,rectum., coccineum, uti et pedes. It is a summer visitor to this country, generallyarriving in the second week of May, and breedingon sandy shores and shingle beds all round thecoast of England and Scotland, as far north as Skyeon the west, and the Fame Islands and the MorayFirth on the east. Beyond this it comes into com-petition with the Arctic Tern, with which speciesit is found in the Outer Hebrides, as well as inOrkney. As a summer visitor to Scotland it is to
Text Appearing After Image:
TERNS 289 be found nesting on the pebbly shores of manyinland lochs and islands, where its graceful evolu-tions on the wing, and its headlong plunges intothe water when engaged in fishing, aflford constantdiversion to the observant angler. In Ireland, the Common Tern, though numerousin summer, is rather local, breeding both on saltand fresh water, often in company with the ArcticTern, and sometimes in close proximity to nestsof the Black-headed Gull. Mr. Ussher has remarkedthat on marine islands the eggs of this bird arerarely laid before June, and are chiefly producedduring that month; but on inland lakes the Com-mon Tern breeds earlier, and the full complementof eggs may sometimes be found before the endof May. Where grass is abundant on their breeding-ground, these birds make their nests in it, but theseare seldom more than mere depressions. During itsmigrations in spring and autumn the Common Ternoften comes up the rivers from the coast, andwanders inland to fresh-water pools and
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