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Exploring the Whiskered Tern’s Ecological Niche

The whiskered tern, a skilled artisanal fisher, exhibits remarkable adaptability across diverse environments, from coastal wetlands to inland lakes like Nanmangalam. Renowned for its aerial prowess, this tern demonstrates a keen ability to hover over water bodies, surveying the landscape for potential prey like tilapia and crustaceans.

Its culinary preferences extend beyond fish to include frogs, toads, and insects, expanding its dining table across various terrains. During invasive species removal efforts, such as the eradication of water hyacinth, the whiskered tern seizes feeding opportunities amidst the upheaval.

Notably, its behavior often evokes parallels with swallows, particularly in its streamlined appearance and adept hovering skills. As a fixture in the winter landscape of the Indian subcontinent, the whiskered tern plays a vital role in maintaining ecological balance and ecosystem health.