Black Tern  ( Guifette noire )      This species is of special interest to Timiskaming birders.    All sightings should be documented and reported.

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Chlidonias niger

Description:    Adult Black Tern just beginning to molt from breeding plumage
Photo Date:   July 9, 2007

Location:  

Hilliardton Marsh

Photographer:  

Michael Werner

General Notes

The Black Tern has been identified by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources as a species of "Special Concern" in Ontario, though it is not at risk nationally. It builds floating nests in loose colonies in shallow marshes, especially in cattails. The breeding pattern in Ontario is very patchy. It appears to be most common along the southern edge of the Canadian Shield.  It is very rarely found on the Canadian Shield  itself. In Timiskaming, there is a well established breeding colony at the Hilliardton Marsh which started in 1997, and although the breeding population there has not been closely monitored, anecdotal evidence indicates that the colony has been growing a little each year since then. In winter they migrate to the coast of northern South America, where they are largely pelagic ocean dwellers.

Abundance: Uncommon Earliest observed date:  

Typical arrival date:

May 13
Breeding Status: Breeding Latest observed date:  

Typical departure date:

Sep. 16

Documented Observations

 

 

June 4, 1991. Observed at the New Liskeard sewage lagoons. Details on file with the Natural Heritage Information Centre in Peterborough.

May 27-28, June 20-22, 1997. Three observed at Hilliardton Marsh by David Locky during field work for his Master's thesis.

May 23-25, June 18-20, 1998. Three observed at Hilliardton Marsh by David Locky during field work for his Master's thesis.