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Charadriiformes > Laridae

Aleutian Tern

Onychoprion aleuticus

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Identification

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Beautiful, elegant tern of the Pacific Ocean. Breeding adults are silvery-gray overall with a black cap and crisp white forehead. Bill and legs are black. Nonbreeding birds are mostly white-faced with a messy dark nape; note dark bar on secondaries. Juveniles are washed with beautiful rich cinnamon tones for a brief period of time in late summer. Breeds primarily near the coast in Alaska and Russia. Winters in warm tropical waters of Southeast Asia and the Philippines, but exact wintering range is not well-known. Soft trilled calls are very different from the harsh and grating calls of most other terns.

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Aleutian Tern

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