Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Inca Tern

Inca Tern (Larosterna inca) is a bird with a mustache or so it looks like. This bird is exclusively found in the islands of Chile and Peru and is a threatened bird today.
Sea birds like this Tern face a special food hazard, because of their lifestyle. The hazard is salt, which in large doses is poisonous, leading to dehydration and a overload on the kidneys. Yet seabirds inevitably absorb large quantity of salt water while feeding. The excess is disposed of by special salt glands in the head. The glands discharge a highly concentrated salt solution into the nostrils, from where it drips back into the sea. So efficient is this built in desalination plant that sea birds never need to drink fresh water. They extract all they want from the seawater. This I specifically noticed and mentioned in a older post on the Booby, where they spent 4-5 days on my ship feeding on fish at sea and never needing water to drink.

Sony A350 , 200mm lens, ISO400


  1. Birds make such beautiful photo models. My neighbor's back yard attracts a lot of local species, but I've never managed to get pictures this incredible.