Arctic and Common Terns; The Yosemite (Oak) fire is contained. The McKinney not so much.

This is the way it goes in California when the wildfires start. The Yosemite (Oak) fire is contained it was reported as the largest wild fire (so far) this year. Then sure as another would start it did, the McKinney fire 10 miles South of the Oregon border is raging out of control. It is burning in a remote area with difficult access. How it started is under investigation but there have been lightening storms for the past few days. One fire began after a chunk of a Utility Tower broke loose flaming down to the dry tinder below. The assembly was over 100 years old, it happens all of the time here: our utility PG&E is owned on Wall Street, anyone see a problem with that?

Terns are all over the slough for the past month or so displacing the SeaGulls for a while; now the Gulls are showing up again. There are over 100 different species of Terns in our world, some have similar appearances making them hard to Identify. Such is the case with Arctic Terns and the common Tern (pictured above).

Common Tern
Arctic Tern

I borrowed this image of an Arctic Tern for comparison reasons only in this blog. One of the differences (there are few) is the Arctic Tern displays blackened wing tips only on breeding birds, other than that I cannot find a difference. That led me to misidentifying them for a long while. The most notable difference is their migration which is the longest migration in the world. Round trip is an astounding 25,000 miles round trip beginning at the North Pole and ending in Antarctica where they breed.

Where as the North American Native Common Tern Migrates from the Northern States and Southern Canada to Chile, Peru and Argentina. That is quite a migration as well however many remain in California inland as well as near the Ocean. That may explain why they occupy the Slough during the Spring and Summer months.

In the background of this photo is a utility tower identical to those falling apart throughout California. There is a nest of Red Tailed Hawks in that tower, they also cause fires by unknowingly touching two cables together then catching fire and igniting the dry grass below.

I added this SeaGull in the blog for good measure, I nearly forgot what they look like. I’m joking of course but there are several similarities between Terns and Gulls as well. However the knockout punch is the Terns Red bill and the Seagulls yellow/orange beak. We may be looking forward to some serious pecking order battles over the next month or so.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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