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Demasius, E. 2011. The Damara Tern mating game. Lanioturdus, 44(4): 26-27


Description:

The Damara Tern mating game.

Summary / Notes:

Towards the end of each year I visit the Damara Terns breeding north of Wlotzkasbaken. My first visit in 2010 was on the last weekend in October and to my amazement no terns had yet arrived. Rather late, I thought. I was there again a week later and by this time seven Damara terns had arrived. Five of them were rather restless, flying to and fro, landing and moving about and making a lot of noise at the same time. Ah, I thought, this must be the mating game, something I had never witnessed before. Very soon the flock of seven terns was reduced to five and then to three birds, always exhibiting the same procedure, flying to andrnfro, sitting down and making a lot of noise. The birds would walk up to each other and pass each other at a close distance. One bird remained sitting, presumably the female. All of a sudden the presumed female bird flew off with only one bird following her. They flew further inland and landed not far from the road leading to Henties Bay. Here the ritual of walking up to each other was repeated a number of times.

Year: 2011

Type: Journal Article

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