Martyns are medium-sized birds that lead a gregarious way of life. They build nests and migrate. Because of their peculiar color, ornithologists call these birds black-headed gulls. Another name of the species is Larus Ridibundus. True, from Latin this beautiful phrase is translated rather prosaically: “trash gull” (if there is a shortage of food, the Martyns show interest in landfills).
Martyn is a bird from the gull family. It is better known as the tern. She has a slim build, long sharp wings and a deeply carved tail. Male weight 150 g, which is slightly less than that of females (175 g). In mature individuals, the crown of the head is black. Wings, back bluish or ashen. Throat, chest, belly - gray. Young birds are distinguished by white feathers on the forehead, brown back and wings. Body length of individuals of both sexes does not exceed 40 cm. Wingspan ranges from 70 cm to 1 m.
Martyn extracts food on reservoirs. The diet consists of small fish. From the height of his flight, the bird Martyn sees his prey well. Having watched the victim, the tern circled above it, choosing a convenient moment, then diving from a height, completely plunging into the water, grabbing the victim with a beak or paws. Despite its aquatic habitat, it also feeds on terrestrial insects and small rodents.
The construction of nests birds begin in the spring. They nest in both colonies and separate pairs. Places for nests choose little visited with a more open view. This allows visual contact with each other. The nest looks like a shallow notch in the sand or pebbles. Most often the bottom is covered with dry feathers. In the year one brood.
One female lays no more than three eggs. Duration of incubation lasts about 20 days from the time of the first egg. Both male and female take part in this process. Protecting their nests from danger, terns often kill other youngs of their own species. Parents feed hatched chicks in the nest. Two weeks later, the kids can swim well, run well, and they are partially covered with feathers. Despite this, parents will take care of their children for a long time. A month later, the younger generation learns to fly, leaving their nests in the independent search for food. Nomadic terns gradually gather into flocks for autumn migration. It begins in late August and ends in mid-September.
Since the tern is a migratory bird, it does not have a permanent residence. For the winter, large bird colonies fly closer to equatorial latitudes. In winter, it can be found in the south of America, the Philippines and in Africa. Martyn is a bird (there is a photo of it in the article), which happened to nest in some parts of the tundra, but it does not occur in more northern areas.
Currently, the species is not considered rare. According to experts, the world population of martyn is not in danger.