Name: Common Tern
Scientific name: Sterna hirundo
Nature Stars: 50
A medium-sized tern, about 35cm long. This is the commonest tern and the one you are most likely to see away from known breeding colonies. Silvery-grey above and white below, with a large black cap. Short red legs and a red bill with a black tip. Common terns plunge-dive to catch their prey!
Other terns found in the UK:
How to identify: Common tern and arctic tern can be very difficult to tell apart. The common tern is whiter below, has shorter tail streamers and a longer bill, orangey red with a black tip.
Where: A summer visitor, nesting on gravelly beaches and islands around the coast and inland on gravel pits and reservoirs.
Photograph credit: Photo credit tbc