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Charadriiformes > Laridae

Least Tern

Sternula antillarum

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Identification

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Tiny, noticeably smaller than other terns, with quick flicking wingbeats. A real beach bum, rarely straying far from sand, both on the coast and along inland rivers and lakes. Breeding adults have yellow bill, stumpy yellow feet, white forehead, and black cap. Younger birds duller with black bill, blackish crown patch, and grayish shoulder, but still always identifiable by size and quick wingbeats. Often seen with other terns. Listen for shrill high-pitched calls.

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Learn more about Least Tern from…

All About Birds

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