Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Dinsmore in Nebraska Bird Review (December 2000) 68(4). Copyright 2000, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


On 20 September 2000, I arrived at Lake Minatare in Scotts Bluff County after the passage of a strong cold front the day before. At 11:36 a.m., I noticed two distant Sterna flying east of the lighthouse. Although the distance was great, I could see that one tern was a juvenile Forster's Tern while the other tern was clearly a different species. Even at a distance, I thought I could see a white cheek, a darker gray belly, and pale upperwings, all indications that the bird was an adult Arctic Tern. I then drove to the lighthouse and soon found the two terns flying along the north shore of the lake where they eventually landed amongst a small flock of Franklin's and Ring-billed Gulls. I was able to approach to within 10 meters of the birds and take several photographs. The Arctic Tern remained at this location until I left the area at 12:40 p.m. and was still there several hours later (Helen Hughsen, pers. comm.).