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Charadriiformes > Laridae

Little Tern

Sternula albifrons

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Identification

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Tiny, delicate-looking tern. Mainly coastal, but also occurs inland locally. Breeding plumage has black cap with white forehead chevron, black-tipped yellow bill. Readily identified by tiny size, though wintering adults can be confusingly similar in patterning to Common Tern; look out for black stripes extending from the shoulder to the wingtip. Breeds colonially on sandy and stony substrates, at times with other terns, from beaches to riverbanks and lakeshores. Often overlooked unless noisy and mobbing you at a colony. Flies with hurried deep wingbeats; splash dives in water to catch small fish.

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