eWestern Birds

The Quarterly Journal of Western Field Ornithologists

Vol. 37, No. 3
September 2006
Western Field Ornithologists


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Occurrence of Bridled and Gray-Backed Terns in American Samoa
Samoa Mark J. Rauzon

ABSTRACT: In the central Pacific, the Bridled Tern (Sterna anaethetus) and the Gray-backed Tern (S. lunata) are best distinguished by the pattern of the undersides of their primaries, largely white in the Gray-backed, contrastingly dark in the Bridled. In American Samoa, where the species’ ranges overlap, their similarity in plumage may have led to confusion in early records of both species. During seabird surveys around Tutuila, American Samoa, in December 2003, I confirmed the presence of the Bridled Tern. I also review past sightings of the Gray-backed Tern in American Samoa.

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