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Alternate name - White-winged Black Tern
Short red legs, short black bill, black neck, pale gray belly, very dark grey back, white rump, light grey tail, yellowish face, white wings, inner wing is grey with brown-tipped coverts. In non-breeding plumage, most of the black is replaced by white or pale grey, black head,white forehead, black-brown crown, flecked with white, and the hindcrown is blackish with a certain amount of white flecking, broad and white collar. In juveniles and moulting adults, the rump is pale grey, becoming grey in both phases late in the year. The clear white collar and rump isolate the mantle as a dark brown 'saddle'. The mantle feathers have narrow paler brown tips, as have the tertials and scapulars.
In or near bodies of fresh water and freshwater marshes.
They build a nest of small reed stems and other vegetation, placed either on floating vegetation in a marsh or on the ground very close to water. 2-4 eggs are laid.
The diet includes insects and small fish.
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