Little Tern Family

Little Tern Family

The little tern is a seabird of the family Laridae. It was formerly placed into the genus Sterna, which now is restricted to the large white terns.

The genus name is a diminutive of Sterna, “tern”. The specific albifrons is from Latin albus, “white”, and “frons”, forehead.

The body length is 22-28 cm. Iris brown. The bill is black, the breeding plume is orange-yellow, and the mouth end is black. Feet brown, breeding plumage orange-yellow.

Androgynous. The breeding feathers are black from the top of the head to the back of the neck and over the eyeliner, and white on the forehead, cheeks, neck, chest and abdomen. The back, waist and tail feathers are grayish white.

The non-breeding feathers are slightly different from the breeding feathers, only the black part on the top of the head mostly turns white.

Widely distributed in Eurasia and Oceania.

Video Source: 小燕鷗-育雛/Little Tern-Feeding Chicks from Chuenguey Hwang on Youtube  CC BY

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