Caspian Terns in Flight

{Shorebird Photography} Caspian Terns at the Pacific Ocean

The summer season welcomes Caspian Terns to our Washington coastline each year. These naturally curious shorebirds are quite beautiful with their striking black  head and coral-red bill.  They are also very vocal and can be extremely aggressive while defending their breeding colony.  I’ve found myself being yelled out quite often if I near these guys. You can find them mingling with the local seagulls even though they seem like they would prefer to be left completely alone.

Just the facts:

  • Caspian Terns are larger and more robust than other terns.
  • Their pointed red bill and black cap distinguishes it easily from gulls.
  • The largest breeding colony in North America is off the coast of Oregon and Washington.
  • Flies over water with bill pointing down; plunges into water to catch fish.
  • More information can be found at




The terns were some of the first shorebirds that I had the opportunity to photograph with the new camera.  I’m pretty pleased with the initial results…what is your opinion?

Yes, I still have lots of work to do to learn all the manual settings but I think I’m progressing nicely.  I initially tried to capture shots which I had previously tried with the old camera and these actually turned out pretty close to the way I pictured in my mind.



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8 thoughts on “{Shorebird Photography} Caspian Terns at the Pacific Ocean

  1. Jane

    What beautiful photographs! I love the depth of color in the water. Well done! Love the color contrast of the birds. I’d love to see them in person…

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  3. Michelle

    Marie your shots are gorgeous!! So crisp! These birds are beautiful and I would love to spend a day at the shore just watching them and of course with you! :) It looks like you are having so much fun with your camera. Enjoy your day sweet friend!!

  4. Marie

    First, a big congrats on taking such breathtaking photos! Omigosh, it’s like I’m there looking at the birds in person. And yes, their red orangy beaks are quite a great contrast to their white body. Thanks for sharing these photos with us Marie!


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