Arctic Tern,  Sterna paradisaea

Number of accepted Arctic Tern records for Louisiana = 8 as of October 2017

Accepted Records

One adult male in alternate plumage (1988-52; formerly 89-48) on 5 June 1988, Cameron: 2 mi. W OMMR; Donna L. Dittmann & Steven W. Cardiff (LSUMZ #135933).

One adult in alternate plumage (1988-51; formerly 89-47) on 21 June 1988, Cameron: 7 mi. W OMMR; Donna L. Dittmann & Steven W. Cardiff.

One immature male (1988-53; formerly 89-49) on 21 June 1988, Cameron: 7 mi. W OMMR; Donna L. Dittmann & Steven W. Cardiff (LSUMZ #135934).

These three records are the first records for Louisiana. Although the latter two individuals were observed together and represent a single occurrence, they were reviewed separately because they were in different plumages and because one was collected and the other was a sight record.

One female in first summer plumage (1990-47) on 10 Jun. 1990, Cameron: 7 mi. W old mouth Mermentau River; Steven W. Cardiff (LSUMZ #152033), DLD (AR 44(5): 1147).

Two adults in alternate plumage (1990-49) on 23 Jun. 1990, Cameron: "Broussard's Beach,” 10 mi. W old mouth Mermentau River, Donna L. Dittmann (ph) & Steven W. Cardiff (AB 44(5):1147). These represent the third and fourth records (Editor's note: 4th and 5th records) for Louisiana.

One in definitive alternate plumage (1995-61) on 30 May 1995, Cameron: 1.5-2 mi. W of (town of) Holly Beach; Paul E. Conover (ph) and Gary Broussard (ph only) (FN 49(3):262). This is the sixth record for Louisiana.

Photo and video by Paul Conover

One female (2000-4) in second alternate plumage on 4 Jun 2000, Cameron: Rutherford Beach, 6 mi. W of old mouth Mermentau River; B. Mac Myers III (LSUMZ 171768; Donna L. Dittmann) and Phillip Wallace (ph); NAB 54(4): 391. This represents the 6th record (Editor's note: 7th) for Louisiana. All records have occurred between 30 May-23 Jun.

One adult (2015-070) on 10 July 2015, Plaquemines: Breton NWR, Breton Island; David P. Muth (ph). This represents the eighth state occurrence and first in 15 years.

Photo by David Muth

Unaccepted Records

One sub-adult (92-44) on 6 June 1992, Lafourche: Bay Champagne at end of Fourchon Road. The identification was based on "white cheek patch and shorter legs compared to adjacent Common and Forster's terns." The bird was not well-observed in flight. Because of potential confusion with Common Tern and because one of the two observers expressed some doubt regarding the bird’s identification, the record was considered unacceptable.

One adult (1996-26) on 4 May 1996, Gulf of Mexico: approximately 15 mi. S of Southwest Pass Mississippi River on LOS-sponsored pelagic trip. In addition to the brevity of the observation and associated description, and that only one observer on the pelagic trip submitted a report, opposition to this record also focused on the early date, which did not fit the currently established pattern of occurrence for this species in the Gulf of Mexico.