Inca Tern

Jet Eliot

Inca Tern, Lima, Peru Inca Tern, Lima, Peru

I saw this seabird while visiting the chilly coastal waters of Lima, Peru.  As I walked along the water’s edge, what floated in the water looked like dull, dark gulls with red bills.  When I put the binoculars up I was dazzled by their markings.

They feed mostly on fish, especially anchovies, and go no further than the Humboldt current.  This is a cold water current that flows north on the west coast of South America from southern Chile to northern Peru.  According to Wikipedia it is “the most productive marine ecosystem in the world.”

In waters teeming with more life than anywhere else in the world, it makes sense that they stay here and never leave.  So I guess in this scenario that made me the migratory bird.

Photo credit:  Bill Page

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