The Greater Crested Terns (Thalasseus bergii) is the second largest Australian tern, the largest being the Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia). It is a coastal bird and Nobbies in Phillips Island has one of the largest breeding colony in Victoria, Australia.
These large terns are distinguished by their shaggy black crest. They roost on the ground close to one another. During the day the hunt for fish by plunge-diving into the water, spearing the fish in the process – see video below.
The video below shows an adult with a fledgling that was attempting to swallow a fish clamped between its mandibles. The fledgling failed a few times before it dropped it into the water. It successfully retrieved it, washed it, before finally swallowing it.
The above was documented in the colony at Nobbies, Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia in November 2015.
Teo Lee Wei & K
29th December 2018