Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2021-40

Common name:

Least Tern

Scientific name: Sternula antillarum
Date: 28 May 2021
Time: 0900
Length of time observed: 3 hours
Number: 1
Age: Adult, breeding
Location: Stonebridge Pond
County: Washington
Latilong: 37�'34.1"N 113�'27.7"W
Elevation: 2900 feet
Distance to bird: Variable
Optical equipment: Zeiss Victory HT 8x42 binoculars
Weather: Sunny, clear
Light Conditions: Bright
Description:        Size of bird: Small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Tern
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: White
(Description:)            Bill Type: Straight, pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Small tern with yellow bill and black tip. Prominent white forehead, black cap. Short forked tail. Outer wings with black leading edge. White underparts.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Quick wing beats flying. Frequent diving into the pond for fish. Landed on the tee box of the 4th hole of the Sunbrook (Blackrock) golf course.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Common Tern - should have a black forehead, orangish bill..
Forsters Tern - these are seen in our area but they have a black forehead and orangish bill as well. .
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen the Least Tern previously in coastal Texas, coastal Florida and coastal New Jersey. I have seen Forster's Terns at this pond and elsewhere in Utah.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds
National Geographic Field Guide of North America
Description from: From memory
From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bill Compton
Observer's address: 1854 Stonebridge Drive #114, St. George, Utah 84770
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Paul Jaussi, Steve Sommerfeld, Mike Schijf and others
Date prepared: 21 June 2021
Additional material: Photos  
Additional comments: This bird was initially seen incidentally from the back patio of our home on Stonebridge Pond.
3 flying photos of this bird submitted