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TERNS-Birds you like to know more

Updated on August 29, 2012

Terns are migratory birds, normally seen near to the seas; they can float over the water, but can’t swim. I like to share details about a few Terns.

Lesser crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis):

These can be normally seen in most of the seashores. They can be identified by the following ways,

  • They have a black covering on the head.
  • Orange and yellow colour mixed big beak.

They have the capability of flying, floating over the sea and go into the water to catch small fishes, prone. We can see them resting on rocks and fallen trees at the corner of seashores. These types of Terns can be seen mainly in Lakshadweep islands of India. They will come here and lay their eggs.

Large crested Tern (Sterna bergii):

These are one of the biggest Terns seen on seashores. Apart from Lesser crested Tern, they have green mixed yellow beak. There have similar habits like lesser crested Tern. In India they mainly make their nests on Maharashtra’s Venkarula Island.

Gull Billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica):

  • They have the following characters:
  • They have a black dot near to the eyes.
  • They also have black long legs and big wings.
  • Black coloured beak.

These terns almost have a size of a sea crow. They can be seen near to big water bodies and lakes. They like to feed on fish, crabs, frogs and small insects. These migratory terns make nests in northern states of India and west Asia. Their nest can be seen in Europe and northern African nations.

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia):

They are almost same sized as Large crested Tern, with dark red big beak and black coloured legs. They can be seen near to big water bodies and lakes. They are slowly flying tern. Fish, crabs, prone are eaten by these Terns.

They can be seen in seashores of Gujarat, Europe, northern Africa and west Asian nations.

Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis):

These are very intelligent in capturing fishes among all terns. They make their nest in European countries. In India they can be seen in September to April. They can be identified by the following way.

  • Black cap like hair covering on head.
  • Light yellow colour at the end of the long and thin beak.
  • Black legs.

They are known by the name Sandwich, a city in England.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo):

Their size is less than Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis). They can be normally seen on seashores and ports. They have fast wings movement, black beak and red coloured legs. They make nest in north Asian countries and Europe. These terns moves and captures fishes in groups.

White Winged Tern (Chlidonias Leucopterus):

Upper side of their body is filled with Grey colour and lower portion with white. Black continuing black dot on head and white silky covering around the neck will help to identify them. Beak and legs are black coloured. They will go for food in inner water bodies, farming lands and lakes. They make nest in south European countries and mid Asian nations.

White Cheeked Tern (Sterna repressa):

They have long grey tail and long black coloured figure on the side of head. They have red mixed black legs and beak. They mostly saw in seashores. These terns will sometimes come to ports for capturing fish. In India they make nest in Venkuramala rocks near Maharashtra.


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    • viewfinders profile image

      viewfinders 5 years ago from God's own country(kerala)

      thanks for your comments.hope for more

    • viewfinders profile image

      viewfinders 5 years ago from God's own country(kerala)


      sure,we have a lot of terns and is beautiful to see its fishing techniques

      Hope for more details of birds.

    • brackenb profile image

      brackenb 5 years ago

      What lovely birds and informative writing.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Voted useful and interesting. You have a lot of terns in India.