Bridled Terns in Hong Kong

Terns on a structure on a rocky island near Tap Mun, Hong Kong.

As August comes to a close, so too does breeding season for Hong Kong’s terns. Unlike our trip a few weeks back, there were hardly any black-naped terns to go around, but instead we found hundreds (thousands?) of breeding bridled terns, in all the glory of their breeding plumage.

Bridled tern on some debris

Bridled terns (and black-naped terns) breed on the rocky coasts of islands in Hong Kong in large numbers. The government has designated some of these islands as tern nesting sites and prohibits entry, which hopefully deters adventurers from disturbing the nesting sites.

Additionally, we got lucky enough to spot a greater crested tern on some debris. They don’t breed in Hong Kong so they aren’t quite as gregarious as the black-naped and bridled terns found here, but they do spend the off-season here in limited numbers.

Greater crested tern

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