Sunday, 23 August 2009

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

OTHER NAMES: Sea Swallow
Latin Etymology: Sterna (Old English word for Black Tern) hirundo ("swallow")
Adult Common Tern (subspecies S. h. hirundo) at London Wetland Centre, London - June 2018

Featured Subspecies: Sterna hirundo hirundo
Weight: 110-141g  /  Length: 12-14cm  /  Wingspan: 77-98cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

By far the easiest Tern species to see, if not actually the most numerous - common terns breed at many locations inland, particularly at nature reserves where islands have been made specifically for them to nest. They can also often be seen over more or less any decent sized body of water with some luck. Visually very similar to the Arctic Tern, there are subtle differences, but you can almost guarantee that a tern of this sort seen inland is a common tern.

Related Species:
Family: Sternidae (Terns)

Genus: Sterna
Subspecies: S. h. hirundo, S. h. minussensis, S. h. tibetana, S. h. longipennis 

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Locally fairly common Summer migrant breeding species (12000 pairs)
 - Seen at various sites including Farne Islands Rutland WaterTrevose HeadRainham Marshes and Pitsford Reservoir

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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