Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
The Gull-billed Tern is a medium-sized tern that belongs to the family Laridae. It is found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
These birds have a distinctive appearance, with a grayish-brown plumage on their upperparts, a white belly, and a black cap on their head. They have a relatively short, thick bill that is adapted for catching and swallowing large prey.
Gull-billed Terns are typically found in coastal habitats, such as salt marshes, estuaries, and mudflats. They feed on a variety of prey, including small fish, crustaceans, and insects, which they catch by diving from the air or from a hovering position.
During breeding season, Gull-billed Terns build shallow nests on the ground, laying 2-3 eggs per clutch. Both parents share the duties of incubating the eggs and caring for the young.
Gull-billed Terns are considered a species of least concern by the IUCN Red List, although some populations are threatened by habitat loss and degradation, pollution, and disturbance from human activity. Conservation efforts are underway to protect their habitats, including the designation of protected areas and the implementation of sustainable fishing practices.
Overall, the Gull-billed Tern is an interesting and important species that plays a significant role in many coastal ecosystems around the world.