Sandwich Tern with yellow…

on more of the bill than usual

This curious looking tern was photographed on the 5th of November at Faro Saltpans in the south of Portugal. Thijs Valkenburg  is the guy who picked it up and in discussion with Pim Wolf came to a considered ID. I agree- see what you think. It’s interesting too when you recall that yellow-billed tern at Cemlyn, N. Wales a few years back. What have I said! 😉

Hi Martin,

 I got your email from Pim Wolf after discussing the identification of this tern. (see pictures attached)
We got to a fairly good conclusion we think, sandvicensis with a weird bill deformation and colouration.
We would like to see what´s your opinion about it. It´s quite a nice case. Lucky it was not a fly by,
that would be quite a heart breaking bird I think!
Best regards and thanks in advance for an answer,
Thijs Valkenburg



sandwich 1 sandwich 2 sandwich 3


2 thoughts on “Sandwich Tern with yellow…

  1. Laurie Allan

    Hi Martin, i worked on Blakeney Point for a couple of seasons in the 1980’s. At that time it held about 4,000 pairs of breeding Adults in addition to the other Tern spp. Amongst the adult ST’s there was the odd bird that had more extinsive Yellow on one or othe of the mandibles giving a lengthed appearance of a Yellower bill perhaps not quite as extensive as the bird shown but certainly something approaching 1/4 – 1/3 of the total bill length. I don’t have any pics and just put it down to variation in soft part colour.

    Laurie –


Leave a Reply