Common Tern

(Sterna hirundo)

Conservation Status

 

No Image Available

  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5B - Secure Breeding

S2B - Imperriled Breeding

     
  Minnesota

Threatened

Species in Greatest Conservation Need

     
           
 
Description
 
 

The bill is red with a black tip. The legs are red. The underparts are grayish. The tail is white with gray outer edges.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

13 to 16in length

30 wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
 

 

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) is a much larger bird. The bill is reddish-orange.

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri) bill and legs are orange. The underparts are white. The tail is gray with white outer edges. The call is lower pitched and shorter in duration.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Breeding: natural or human made islands in large lakes, breakwaters, open beach edges

Migration: large lakes

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

Mid-April to early June and early August to early October

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Small fish and aquatic invertebrates

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon migrant, common breeder in the Duluth harbor and a few large lakes

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Charadriiformes (shorebirds and allies)  
 

Family

Laridae (gulls, terns, and skimmers)  
 

Subfamily

Sterninae (terns and noddies)  
 

Genus

Sterna (typical terns)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo hirundo)

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo minussensis)

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo tibetana)

Eastern Common Tern (Sterna hirundo longipennis)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

 

     
Slideshows
   
  Common Tern
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Common Tern  
     
  Common Tern
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Common Tern  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
   

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Other Videos
 
  Taking a look at terns 1: Common vs Arctic Tern
BTOvideo
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 27, 2011

In this, the fifth in our series of identification videos, we look at how to tell Common and Arctic Tern apart. We look at the ID features on perched birds and how to separate them in flight.

   
       
  Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Huddsbirder Huddersfield
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 18, 2008

Common Tern at Thorne Moors

   
       
  Part 1: Conservation of Vermont's Common Terns
Seanbeckettvt
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 8, 2009

Conservation of VT's Common Terns, Part 1

Created for academic purposes as part of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science Environmental Science Research Fellowship, 2008.

The first segment of this film outlines Audubon Vermont's Common Tern Recovery Project, highlighting different conservation techniques used to increase Lake Champlain's population of this state-endangered seabird.

The second part of this film discusses nocturnal surveillance footage captured in the 2008 breeding season, including a predation event in which a Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)consumes 5 young tern chicks.

NOTE: Due to size limitations, this film's segment breaks do not align with the YouTube files.

Link to part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGuVUais87w

   
       
  Common Terns - Sterna hirundo
Ron Jackson
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 1, 2012

Seaforth Local Nature Reserve, Liverpool, June 30th. 2012.

   
       
  FISKTÄRNA Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) Klipp - 284
AROSFILM
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 14, 2011

Fisktärna. Ängsö Västerås i Västmanland Maj 2007, Common Tern in Sweden, AROS FILM Fotograf: Gunnar Fernqvist.

   
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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