Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

Caspian Tern

From Opus

Breeding adultPhoto © by Phil WatsonAdult summer, Gambia, April 2013
Breeding adult
Photo © by Phil Watson
Adult summer, Gambia, April 2013
Hydroprogne caspia

Sterna caspia

Contents

[edit] Identification

Non-breeding adult Photo © by Alok TewariJamnagar, Coastal Gujarat, India, January-2018
Non-breeding adult
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Jamnagar, Coastal Gujarat, India, January-2018

Length 48–56 cm (19-22 in), wingspan 127-140 cm, weight 570-780 g. The largest tern, 50% heavier than the next largest (Royal Tern and Great Crested Tern).
White head, neck, belly, tail; cap is black in breeding plumage, mottled with white in winter and in juvenile.
Pale grey back and upper wings, pale, dark tipped underwings.
Black legs; bill massive, red with a blackish smudge near the tip.
Juveniles with mantle and wings mottled brown and tail blackish, subadults (1-2 years old) similar but with reduced mottling.

[edit] Distribution

Non-breedingPhoto © by MzunguBribie Island, Queensland, Australia, September 2018
Non-breeding
Photo © by Mzungu
Bribie Island, Queensland, Australia, September 2018

Widespread but patchy breeding distribution in temperate and subtropical regions of Europe (north to 66°N in the Baltic Sea), Asia, Africa, North America (north to 62°N in the Great Slave Lake in Northwest Territories), Australia and New Zealand.

Migratory in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, wintering south to the tropics (including the West Indies and northern South America, where it does not breed); resident or dispersive in the subtropics and the temperate Southern Hemisphere.

There are records most years for the British Isles.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1], in spite of its near-cosmopolitan range. Some authorities formerly recognised two or three subspecies, with nominate H. c. caspia in the Old World, H. c. imperator in the New World, and H. c. strenua in Australasia.

It was in the past (and is still by some authorities) included in the genus Sterna.

[edit] Habitat

Large lakes (fresh or salt water) and shallow, sheltered sea coasts; avoids exposed and deep-water ocean coasts. Breeds on sandy coasts and islands.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

The diet includes fish, insects, eggs and young birds.

[edit] Breeding

They are ground nesters, colonially and singly; 1-3 pale blue green eggs, heavily spotted brown, are laid in a bare scrape.

[edit] Vocalisation

The call is a loud croak.


Listen in an external program

[edit] Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6

[edit] Recommended Citation

[edit] External Links


Advertisement


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.35346603 seconds with 8 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:17.