Help! What is this bird??!/ Black Tern!

I’m certainly not a good enough birder that I can immediately identify all the birds I see while out birding. In fact, I identify an awful lot of them after I have the picture open on the computer. That’s the way I learned to identify most of the birds I can readily identify.

Here, however, is a bird I’ve been unable to identify despite spending several hours online and going through my apps. I found it in the Malheur wetlands and knew immediately that I’d never seen before.

I saw a single bird on a post,

unknown bird

so I assumed (perhaps mistakenly) that it was a young bird wanting to be fed, particularly when it called out to another bird flying by.

unknown bird

The birds were obviously chasing insects as they flew back and forth. occasionally hovering in one spot.

unknown bird

The birds’ distinctive wing shape

unknown bird

made me think that it would be easy to identify, but it hasn’t been. Hopefully a reader who is a birder will be able to identify them for me.

8 thoughts on “Help! What is this bird??!/ Black Tern!”

    1. I think you’re right, Lorianne. Thanks.

      Somehow I identify terns with the ocean, not high desert, but their range does extend to southeastern Oregon according to my app.

    1. Thanks. I tried to include enough different viewpoints that someone familiar with the bird could identify it.

  1. I don’t know what it is, but it’s GORGEOUS: subdued colors, dramatic shapes.

  2. Not being in the US I wouldn’t know Loren, but your photographs give so many good views that I am sure you will get a reply.

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