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Created 23-Mar-14
Modified 26-Dec-20
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Terns are seabirds in the family Laridae that have a worldwide distribution and are normally found near the sea, rivers, or wetlands. Terns are treated as a subgroup of the family Laridae which includes gulls and skimmers and consist of eleven genera. They are slender, lightly built birds with long, forked tails, narrow wings, long bills, and relatively short legs. Most species are pale grey above and white below, with a contrasting black cap to the head, but the marsh terns, the Inca tern, and some noddies have dark plumage for at least part of the year. The sexes are identical in appearance, but young birds are readily distinguishable from adults. Terns have a non-breeding plumage, which usually involves a white forehead and much-reduced black cap.
The terns are birds of open habitats that typically breed in noisy colonies and lay their eggs on bare ground with little or no nest material. Marsh terns construct floating nests from the vegetation in their wetland habitats, and a few species build simple nests in trees, on cliffs or in crevices. The white tern, uniquely, lays its single egg on a bare tree branch. Depending on the species, one to three eggs make up the clutch. Most species feed on fish caught by diving from flight, but the marsh terns are insect-eaters, and some large terns will supplement their diet with small land vertebrates. Many terns are long-distance migrants, and the Arctic tern may see more daylight in a year than any other animal.
Terns are long-lived birds and are relatively free from natural predators and parasites; most species are declining in numbers due directly or indirectly to human activities, including habitat loss, pollution, disturbance, and predation by introduced mammals. The Chinese crested tern is in a critical situation and three other species are classed as endangered. International agreements provide a measure of protection, but adults and eggs of some species are still used for food in the tropics. The eggs of two species are eaten in the West Indies because they are believed to have aphrodisiac properties.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:common, common, royal, sandwich, tern, tern, terns

Common Tern,(Sterna hirundo) 2879Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)-2847Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)-2879Common Tern,(Sterna hirundo) 2881Common Tern,(Sterna hirundo)Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)-2882Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)  -2877Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) 2956Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) -2873Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) 2954