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Ocean Shores -- Pt. Brown Jetty
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Charadriiformes > Laridae

Elegant Tern

Thalasseus elegans

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Identification

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Long-billed tern of the Pacific coast, from the U.S. to Chile. Pale gray above with shaggy black cap in breeding plumage; nonbreeding birds develop white forehead. Best field mark is the slender orange bill with a slight droop. Strictly coastal; commonly found on beaches and estuaries. Similar to Royal Tern but smaller and slimmer with a thinner bill. Harsh grating calls similar to other terns.

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Learn more about Elegant Tern from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America