Distinctive tern-like bird with long wings, a short tail, and a bizarre bill in which the upper mandible is shorter than the lower mandible. In slow flight, shows a very white underwing, and a white stripe along the back of the upperwing. Feeds by pushing skimming its knife-like lower mandible through the water and snapping up small fish that it makes contact with. Found very locally on sandbars in lakes and rivers. Call is a husky “chep”.