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Bird name:

Sandwich Tern

Thalasseus sandvicensis

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Terns (Sternidae)

BTO 2

TE

BTO 5

SANTE

Euring 5

06110
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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

UK Conservation Status


Amber Status

European Conservation Status


Conservation Description


The Sandwich Tern is a summer resident of various coastal wetlands in the UK, Isle of Man, and Ireland. It has an "Amber" status because of recent population declines.

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Sandwich Tern: Fairly large, Black-headed Gull-sized tern that has long black bill with yellow tip. Crested head with black cap, and black legs and feet. White neck, underparts, and short, forked tail. Pale grey on back and wings. Wings also have white and darker grey in primaries. Flight graceful.


Range and Habitat

Sandwich Tern: Summer breeder in the UK & Ireland. Birds arrive at breeding grounds in March and depart for African winter grounds in September. Most breeding areas are found on the southern and east coasts of England, but also the NW tip of Wales and a few spots in Scotland. Prefer sandy beach areas.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Jean Roche Sound

Sandwich Tern 3

  • Title: Sandwich Tern 3
  • Description: Various calls.
  • Recordist: Jean Roche
  • Date Imported: "February 21, 2011"
  • Location: uk

Sandwich Tern 4

  • Title: Sandwich Tern 4
  • Description: Calls in flight above a breeding colony.
  • Recordist: Jean Roche
  • Date Imported: "February 21, 2011"
  • Location: uk

Voice Text

"gwit-gwit", "skir-rick", "kehk", "ki-i wii wii"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Sandwich Tern was originally described by ornithologist John Latham in 1787 as Sterna sandvicensis, but was recently moved to its current genus Thalasseus following mitochondrial DNA studies.
  • The genus name is derived from the greek Thalassa, "sea", and sandvicensis refers to Sandwich, Kent.
  • It is not very aggressive toward predators. Rather, it relies on the density of the nests, often only 8–12 inches apart, and nesting close more aggressive species to avoid predation.
  • A group of terns are collectively known as a "U" or a "ternery" of terns.

RELATED BIRDS

RANGE MAP

Range Map for Sandwich Tern

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

David Lukas

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.

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ITIS CodesX

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at http://www.itis.gov/advanced_search.html. You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

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Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX