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In a message dated 11/6/2002, [log in to unmask] writes concerning C. J.
Pennock's obsolete nomenclature:


> Wilson's tern (is that Forster's or Common?)
>

Pennock's "Wilson's tern" must refer to Common Tern, or the COTE/FOTE
assemblage.

"The early history of Forster's tern in confused. Wilson did not recognize it
as a species, Nuttall first described it in 1834, and Audubon described the
immature as a distinct species. Not until 1862 did Elliot Coues' work out all
the plumages. Even then the distinction between of it and the Common Tern as
described by Coues required having the adult bird in hand so that the
outermost tail feathers could be examined."

from Birds of Delaware, 2000, Pittsburgh Press.

Rick
Tallahassee

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