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San Mateo, California, United States
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Charadriiformes > Laridae

Caspian Tern

Hydroprogne caspia

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Identification

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Largest tern in the world. Thick, bright-red bill is distinctive. Note solid black cap in summer, which turns to black streaks in winter. Feeds by cruising over lakes, rivers, estuaries, and reservoirs looking for fish, then plunging to catch them. Smooth wingbeats, more gull-like than choppy flight of small-bodied terns. Very vocal, giving loud raucous screams.

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