- Common Tern
- Latin Name
- Sterna hirundo
- 35 cm
- Occurs in thousands offshore.
- A migrant; ringed birds have been recovered along our shores from England, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Germany.
- Bird Call
- The sound they utter is a sharp screeching 'pee-err'.
- Roosts in estuaries and on beaches.
- Immature Description
- Young birds resemble the non-breeding adult but upper parts are mottled grey and buff, bill reddish at base and legs yellowish.
- Adult Description
- The bill is 1½ times the distance between back of eye and front of forehead, the bill is red with black tip but shows more black in non-breeding conditions. Eyes are dark brown. The crown is usually a mottled black with sooty black over eye and on the back of the head; forehead, nape, throat and underparts white. Very pale grey above with a black bar on the shoulder of the wing. Legs dark reddish. When in breeding plumage, the nape, crown and forehead are black.
- Abundant summer visitor.
- Present along the coast from August to April in great numbers but individuals may be found throughout the year. Very rare inland.