Common Terns - Western Isles Birds - Birdlife and Bird Sightings in the Hebrides
Common Terns- Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds Sightings - Common Terns - Western Isles Birds.

Common Terns - greyish plumage - smart black cap and long dagger shaped red bill. It has a long, strongly forked tail and supremely angular wings with the sharp tips that distinguish them from other gulls.

These lovely terns can be seen all over the Western Isles - on both The Isle of Harris and The Isle of Lewis and the Uists
        Common Terns  Info and Photos
Dunlin -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Common Terns   Images
Bird Overview - Terns
Family
Terns
Latin name
Sterna hirundo

 Population
Common


Similar Species
Arctic Tern
Roseate Tern
Description
The Common Terns - greyish plumage - smart black cap and long dagger shaped red bill with a black tip. It has a long, strongly forked tail and supremely angular wings with the sharp tips that distinguish tem from other gulls. The Common Tern is so similar to the closely related Arctic Tern, that many bird watchers admit defeat and simply call them 'Comic Terns'

The Arctic Tern is a very similar looking bird - however it has longer tail streamers than its wing tip - The Common terns has shorter tail streamers. In non-breeding plumage it has a black bill and blackish legs as well as a white forehead all of which makes it look quite different from its breeding plumage.


When an adult is resting, look for an obvious black tip to a long crimson-red bill and notice too that the black on the crown extends in a black trail down towards the back. Also there is a more obvious white line between the bill and the dark crown. None of these features alone can be 100% reliable but together they give the Common Tern a rather elongated-looking head

Size
41cm - 250g in weight
Habitat
The common terns like sand or shingle beaches on the sea coast or flat rocky coasts.
Food
The Common Terns eat fish, small crustaceans, molluscs and worms.
Voice
The call is a clear piping, like that of the Arctic Tern, but lower-pitched and less strident
Breeding
Courtship feeding is a common tern breeding behaviour.The males provide the best supplies of fish during courtship and they rear, on average, larger numbers of young and so the female is apparently testing his potential as a father before agreeing to partner him.

Misc. Info
The common tern has been known to reach 23 years. The old Scottish word for the Common Tern is pictar,

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