Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Royal Tern Study

Another of my favorite birds are Terns. This handsome bird is a Royal Tern (Sterna mazima). Terns, unlike gulls, don't often search you out and make a pest of themselves. However, this day was different. He and a couple of his

Royal Tern study, 5" x 7", oil (click to bid)

buddies flew in while fishing and decided to keep me company. Like gulls, they accepted handouts readily but they would not approach as closely as the gulls.

I often find terns in large groups resting and generally hanging out. In fact, they can be found in large, dense colonies when breeding. Usually tending to a single buff, spotted egg in a sand scrape

A photo of a group mainly consisting of terns (Royal, Sandwich, and Forster's). Ocracoke Island, October 2010
on an island or a sheltered peninsula. I have painted several paintings of these birds from photos I have taken at the coast. I especially like to paint the Royal terns because of their red beak which gives a nice spot of color to an otherwise blue background.

Fish for Dinner...again (Royal Tern), 18 x 24, oil on linen, Ralph Grady James
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