The chase

A Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri) preparing to dive for a meal.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) preparing to dive for fish (2009_11_01_036573)

Said tern after catching said meal.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) after capturing a fish (2009_11_01_036611)

Said tern realizing a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) wants to take said meal.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) being chased by a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) (2009_11_01_036617)

Said gull chasing said tern.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) being chased by a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) (2009_11_01_036621)

And chasing.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) being chased by a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) (2009_11_01_036631)

And chasing.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) being chased by a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) (2009_11_01_036633)

Until a second tern sees said meal.

Two Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri) in flight (2009_11_01_036640)

And chases.

One Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) chasing another (2009_11_01_036641)

And chases.

One Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) chasing another (2009_11_01_036644)

Until said gull outmaneuvers said second tern and gets back into said chase.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) and ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) chasing another Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) (2009_11_01_036646)

And chases.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) being chased by a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) (2009_11_01_036652)

And chases.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) being chased by a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) (2009_11_01_036656)

Until said tern makes good its escape by outmaneuvering said gull.

A Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) flying away with a fish (2009_11_01_036668)

At which point said tern vanishes into the distance to enjoy said meal.

15 thoughts on “The chase”

    1. Good point, Janet! If I had to fight off every invader when it came to eating my meal, I’d be in jail by now for assault, battery, murder, or any number of other crimes. Don’t get between me and my food…

    1. Hysterical, Warren! You’ve obviously figured out my obsessive and/or compulsive and/or desirous need to identify everything I see.

      In this case, the ID is simple: little fish. The taxonomic name for said little fish still eludes me, but I’m working on it.

    1. You’re close to the mark, TGIQ. The whole scene unfolded at the south end of the lake, though they did move further away across the water as the chase unfolded. I ran along the shore a few times when they edged northward, but mostly they stayed in the same general area for the minute or so that the chase lasted. They were very accommodating!

    1. Thank you, Nate! And quite right. This event was over with in about a minute, and I was pretty darn lucky to have the birds stay in the same general area. But I let the shutter fly and captured a story that pretty much told itself.

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    1. I adore gulls with their excessive personalities and their fun antics, but I was definitely hooping the tern would win the day, Laura. It was so exciting to watch this chase–which lasted only about a minute, but what a minute it was!

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