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Today, 6/23, we were conducting a survey of the Least Tern colony on Disappearing Island, Ponce de Leon Inlet, Volusia County. In scanning through the other birds on Disappearing Island, I found two terns that I first thought were Common Terns. Something spooked all the birds and when the birds flew I saw that these birds had extremely long tails and were very pale. The birds landed and although the distance was great, I could see that the bills were all dark and very thin and long. The tails were extremely long and stuck out far beyond the tips of the folded wings. While they were preening, I could also see that the tail had no dark outer border (as in Common and Arctic Terns) and also no dark inner border (as in Forster's Tern). The legs were an orange-red. There was a small amount of reddish color at the base of the bill. In all of my years birding Volusia County, I have never seen Roseate Terns here, although we had a small group once far offshore. 

Michael

Michael Brothers
Marine Science Center
Ponce Inlet, FL

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