This week’s photo, taken July 27, 2013 from the north beach at Discovery Park in Seattle, WA, features one of five CASPIAN TERNS seen that morning.
The CASPIAN TERN, the largest tern in the world, is an exciting bird to watch. It beats its wings vigorously as it flies back and forth over water, looking for fish. If it spots something, it will hover by flaring its tail and flapping its wings quickly, then it will drop its head down and focus its gaze on its potential snack. If it likes what it sees, it tucks its wings and dives head first into the water. As humans, we usually don’t experience physical injury when we chase down food in a grocery store, restaurant or at home, but a tern risks its neck, literally, whenever it pursues a meal. If you observe a tern that is wearing a neck brace, that bird may have dove into the shallow end of the pool.
In case you are wondering about this week’s title, plenty of people use word play when writing about terns, and in this piece I also succumb to the temptation. My fall from grace may cause you to conclude that my writing has taken a tern for the worst.