Tern, Little


Name: Tern, Little

Scientific name: Sterna albifrons

Type: Tern

Color: Black,White,Yellow

Habitat: Coast,Ocean,Water

Size: 37cm

Conservation status:

Summer Visitor


Easily identified from other terns (except Saunders’s) by small size, narrow wings with very fast beats both when hovering and in direct flight. Adult in summer pale grey above (extending onto centre of rump in some) with narrow grey-black leading (two) primaries and yellow bill tipped black; white forehead usually extends as white point to rear eye; legs bright yellow to reddish orange. In winter, bill black, legs dull grey or brown, usually with some yellow; black on head reduced to band around back of head; rump and tail largely grey. Juvenile (dark bill with reddish base) has dark ‘U’-shaped feather-markings on pale grey mantle, scapulars and tertials.