Least Tern in the field of gold

The Least terns are the smallest terns found in the Americas. They winter mainly along the coastline of the northern region of South America. They breed in many parts of the United States, mainly on the open beaches and islands. In Massachusetts, Least terns arrive by the first week of May. Colony formation, courtship, and nesting will soon follow. Least terns are colonial nesters, meaning they nest in groups, ranging from tens to hundreds of pairs and share the nesting grounds with the Piping plovers. 

I found my first pair mixed in with the flock of sanderlings resting on the shore. Soon the beach will be buzzing with the very animated Least Terns.

Note: Least terns are listed as a Species of Special Concern in Massachusetts and protected under the state Endangered Species Act (MESA).

Why this photo works

The sun was getting high in the sky, and the good light was quickly disappearing when I noticed a pair of Least Terns. I decided to create an abstract image focusing on the shape of the tern and the beautiful light reflecting on the waves and wet sand. 

I was lying down on the wet sand with the sun slightly to the bird's left. This position allowed me to capture the beautiful bokeh created by out of focus light reflecting on the waves. My camera was almost touching the ground. This low angle blurred the foreground, creating an excellent bokeh ball effect in the foreground as well.

The abstract nature of this photo includes fun, golden bokeh, and a simple silhouette of the bird highlighting its shape, making it a unique photograph.

Technical Details

 MAY 5, 2022 @ 6:40 AM

Using Format