Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern
Photo credit: Jimmy Jackson
-Sterna Sandvicensis-

Medium-sized member of tern family; adult plumage is pale gray upper with white underparts, shaggy black crest that is less extensive in winter. A vocal bird with long, slender, black bill tipped with yellow. Has deeply forked white tail and black legs and feet. Feeds by plunge diving for fish. Courtship displays include males offering fish to females. Present along Texas beaches and bays March through November, migrates south for winter. Breeds April through July on coastal islands. Nests in ground scrapes, lays one to three eggs. Young birds have grey and brown scalloped plumage. First discovered at Sandwich, England hence its name.

Length: 15 inches
Wing Span: 34 inches
Weight: 7 ounces