Sub-tropical tern; slightly smaller than Common Tern with a lighter and less powerful flight. In all plumages note the darker upperparts including the rump and uppertail. Bill longer and legs shorter. Adults have medium dark gray underparts with a dark underwing trailing edge, similar to the smaller Whiskered Tern that has a shorter tail. Note than in different light conditions Common Tern also shows gray underparts, but Common Tern always has a white tail and rump. Young birds are very similar to Common Tern, but White-cheeked Terns are more strongly marked. Breeds on small islands and coral reefs. Vocalisations similar to Common Tern.