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Charadriiformes > Laridae

Inca Tern

Larosterna inca

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Identification

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This remarkable tern should pose no identification issues. Adults are entirely medium-gray with bright red bill and legs, fleshy yellow skin around the gape, and a bright white stripe that curls from below the eye down the side of the cheek, flaring out to the side. Juveniles are not as flashy, but they are still distinctive: all grayish-brown, unlike any other tern. Also note white trailing edge of the wing. A coastal species, found from northern Peru to central Chile, with vagrants occasionally turning up much farther north into Central America. Breeds on rocky cliffs, often venturing offshore to forage. Can be abundant, foraging in flocks by the hundreds.

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Neotropical Birds

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