Common Tern

Common Tern
-Sterna hirundo-

The most wide spread of the terns; found on lakes, rivers and oceans.

Inhabits our area only during migrations; May-June and September-October. Nests in Canada.

Distinctive smooth, black cap, red bill and forked tail. Best ID is the black wedge of color known as a "carpal-bar" on outer primary wing feathers.

Shorter legged than most other terns. Fish eater; it dives for food.

Note the black "carpal bar" on the shorter legged bird in the center foreground of this group of Sandwich and Forester's terns. This is the Common Tern and the difference from others is conspicuous by this marking.

Length: 12 inches
Wingspan: 30 inches
Weight: 4.2 ounces