Breeding adult (hirundo/tibetana) © Michiel Oversteegen eBird S58528628 Macaulay Library ML 170212981
Breeding adult (hirundo/tibetana) © Gale VerHague
Breeding adult (longipennis) © Steven McBride
Nonbreeding adult (hirundo/tibetana) © S. K. Jones
Immature (hirundo/tibetana) © Jody Wells
+ 9
Immature (longipennis) © Anonymous
Juvenile (hirundo/tibetana) © Linda Ankerstjerne Olsen
Nonbreeding adult (hirundo/tibetana) © County Lister Brendan
Breeding adult (hirundo/tibetana) © Doug Hitchcox
Immature (hirundo/tibetana) © Max McCarthy
Nonbreeding adult (longipennis) © Steven McBride
Immature (longipennis) © Steven McBride
Habitat © Keith Lowe

Common Tern Sterna hirundo

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Medium-sized tern found on open ocean, beaches, and large lakes. Adults have pale gray body and black cap. Bill color differs by subspecies: most have red bill with black tip, but some Asian birds have all-black bills. First-years show dark outer primaries, dark shoulder, and black restricted to back of neck. Similar to Forster's, Arctic, and Roseate Terns. Separated from breeding Forster's Tern by entirely gray upperwings; nonbreeding Forster's shows black ear patch. Somewhat longer-billed and shorter-tailed than Arctic Tern, with paler body. Shorter-tailed and overall darker than gleaming white Roseate Tern. Often found in large flocks, especially in late summer. Gives a harsh screeching call "KEEE-yurrrr."