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The Beauty of Terns

2024 Keynote:

with Cameron Cox

Friday, April 26, 6:00pm
Reception at 5:30pm


Asbury United Methodist Church

7501 S. Staples Street, Corpus Christi

From the incredible migratory feats performed by some terns to the elegance of their appearance and their stunning courtship displays, terns are a joy to behold and ponder. 

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We’ll take the evening to explore terns in all of their charisma and beauty, while simultaneously weaving in the moments of the joy, excitement, boredom, and heartbreak that went into creating the book, Terns of North America.  While terns are the subject, we will also be getting into the messy business of why it took nine years to write a book about them.


An avid birder for thirty years, Cameron’s passion is teaching others about birds and the nuances of bird identification.  He is the owner and operator of Avocet Birding Courses, a company that offers workshops and tours that focus on teaching birding skills and knowledge to make birding more fun.  He is the coauthor of The Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching and author of the new Terns of North America, a Photographic Guide, as well as numerous articles on shorebird and waterfowl identification.


This is the essential identification guide to the terns, noddies, and skimmers of North America. Covering every species and featuring hundreds of high-quality color images, this book is the ideal companion for anyone interested in this charismatic but sometimes challenging group of seabirds. Detailed species accounts describe the size of each bird as it appears in the field along with structure, behavior, flight style, vocalizations, subspecies, and North American and worldwide ranges. An incisive introduction lays out a remarkably simple approach to identification that focuses on key elements and addresses how to avoid getting bogged down in the variability of appearance.


This state-of-the-art guide also provides additional in-depth coverage of the two most challenging groups of terns, Sterna terns and crested terns, aiding field identification while also highlighting the beauty and elegance of these marvelous seabirds.

  • Features more than 325 stunning color photos, with side-by-side comparisons of similar species throughout

  • Includes detailed captions for each image that describe age and key identification traits

  • Covers 19 species found in North America, including the most frequent vagrants

  • Presents a unique, simplified approach to field identification

  • Explains the fundamentals of molts, plumages, and hybridization

  • Provides in-depth coverage of Sterna terns and crested terns

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