Here on Lake Erie's shore there are a lot of water birds I don't see at home.
Terns, for instance.
In Pittsburgh we only see a few terns per year during migration and you have to go out of your way to do so. Dedicated birders wait at Dashields Dam on the Ohio River in early April for terns and gulls to fly by. (I'm not that dedicated.)
Since I don't often see terns I have to think to identify them. Caspians require the least thought because they're easy. They're the largest tern in the world -- the size of a herring gull -- and they have large orange beaks that look like a carrot attached to their faces.
If they're barking I know them right away. To me they sound like wild parrots. Click here to hear.
This one barked at Steve Gosser when he took his picture.
By the way, if you're up near Foxburg in Clarion County, stop by the Red Brick Gallery (17 Main Street, Foxburg, PA 16036) to see a display of Steve Gosser's beautiful bird photos. Gallery hours are Fridays 4-8pm, Saturdays 12-8pm, and Sundays 1-6pm. The show runs through May 28.
Here's the show announcement. Sorry I missed the opening last weekend.
(photo by Steve Gosser)