Inca Tern

Inca Tern, Lima, Peru

Inca Tern, Lima, Peru

I saw this seabird while visiting the chilly coastal waters of Lima, Peru.  As I walked along the water’s edge, what floated in the water looked like dull, dark gulls with red bills.  When I put the binoculars up I was dazzled by their markings.


They feed mostly on fish, especially anchovies, and go no further than the Humboldt current.  This is a cold water current that flows north on the west coast of South America from southern Chile to northern Peru.  According to Wikipedia it is “the most productive marine ecosystem in the world.”


In waters teeming with more life than anywhere else in the world, it makes sense that they stay here and never leave.  So I guess in this scenario that made me the migratory bird.


Photo credit:  Bill Page


57 thoughts on “Inca Tern

    • I really like terns too, Morgan. Of course this one is so unique, but they all have grace and tremendous flying abilities. Thanks so much for your comment today, dear Morgan. 😀

    • The day we saw it it was cold and dreary and Lima is quite intimidating (drug wars, not safe), so we didn’t adventure too far. This bird was a spark of joy. Many thanks for your continued comments and support, Lucy…. 😀

    • Yes, it has to do with cold, nutrient-rich waters combined with an upwelling that occurs there. Glad you enjoyed the post, Amy, and as always, I appreciate your visit. 😀

    • Yes it’s true that binoculars open up a whole new world. I don’t go too many places without mine. I’m very glad you enjoyed the Inca terns today, Jeannie, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  1. These are impressive birds to see in person! I’ve been fortunate to see them in several occasions during my trips to Peru! Thanks for the post Jet! I love to remember places that I’ve visited! 🙂

    • We only saw them this one day, so we felt lucky. I recall you lived down there doing field work, so I’m glad you had the chance to see them numerous times…because aren’t they just so gorgeous. So glad my post recalled your Peruvian adventures, HJ. Many thanks, as always, for your continued visits and comments — they are much appreciated. 😀

  2. Please don’t mark me absent …
    I was away from WP,dancing on another platform,lol and it seems I have missed most your recent fabulous work Jet Dear!Loved the beautiful birds,their markings are so impressive and calligraphic!
    Hugs for the day my dearest friend 🙂 ~ I’ll post something quick,and will be back to enjoy your previous posts which I’ve missed ~

    • Dearest Doda, you make me laugh, thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed the terns today, and I like your description: calligraphic. I’m always happy to hear from you and I never mark you absent, my dear friend. 😀 😀

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