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Gull-billed Tern - Annual Whooping Crane Festival in Port Aransas, Texas

The Gull-billed Tern is common in grassy fields and marshes on Mustang Island. This is a fairly large and powerful tern, similar in size and general appearance to a Sandwich Tern, but the short thick gull-like bill, broad wings, long legs and robust body are distinctive. The summer adult has grey upperparts, white underparts, a black cap, strong black bill and black legs. In winter, the cap is lost, and there is a dark patch through the eye like a Forster’s Tern. In addition to the usual tern diet of fish and crustaceans, the Gull-billed tern catches insects in flight or on the ground.

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