The Swift Tern
My favourite bird in rehab


Swift terns are hands down my favourite birds at the centre. They're balls of fluffy cuteness as chicks, beautiful as adults and juveniles, and their weak, defensive bite gives you an epic confidence boost after working with aggressive penguins. But perhaps what I love most of all is their squeaky chirps, which register at the same pitch as a dog's chew toy and give even serious incidents that 'oh-so-cute' factor. 

We're still recovering from the fish shortage and today we served the swift terns tiny, whole fish instead of fillets. Some birds gobbled it up; others glared at the plate before commencing what seemed to be a vehement discussion in squeaks. It was like watching a board meeting spoken in rusty tricycle. Adorable. 

I cannot but smile when I see this bird.