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Bird name:

Caspian Tern

Hydroprogne caspia

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Terns (Sternidae)

BTO 2

CJ

BTO 5

CASTE

Euring 5

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

UK Conservation Status


Amber Status

European Conservation Status


Conservation Description


In the UK, Isle of Man, and Ireland, the Caspian Tern is a very rare migrant with around five records per year on average. It is most likely to occur from May to September. The conservation status for this species is "Amber' in the UK because it is a species of concern in Europe.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Caspian Tern: This large stocky tern has pale grey upperparts and white underparts. The cap is black and may appear weakly crested. The large bill is coral-red, the undersides of the primaries are grey, a short white tail is slightly forked, and the legs are black. The flight is strong, swift and graceful. It hovers above water before diving and mainly feeds on fish. The sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Caspian Tern: Breeds in scattered colonies in Eurasia, Africa, and North America. Winters in areas of Africa, India, China, Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean. Occurs year-round in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Africa and Asia. Preferred habitats include sandy or pebbly shores of lakes and large rivers and along coasts. Rare vagrant to the UK & Ireland.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Caspian Tern W1

  • Title: Caspian Tern W1
  • Recordist: Thijs Fijen
  • Description: High-pitched begging calls from a juvenile.
  • Location: om
  • Date: "March 16, 2017"

Caspian Tern C1

  • Title: Caspian Tern C1
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Harsh adult calls and high-pitched juvenile calls.
  • Location: FL
  • Date: "March 16, 2017"

Caspian Tern A1

  • Title: Caspian Tern A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Calls from a small flock.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "March 16, 2017"

Caspian Tern A2

  • Title: Caspian Tern A2
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Calls from a pair.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "March 16, 2017"

Caspian Tern A3

  • Title: Caspian Tern A3
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Calls from a single bird in flight.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "March 16, 2017"

Caspian Tern A3

  • Title: Caspian Tern A3
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Grating long calls.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "March 16, 2017"

Voice Text

"Kaark" and "ka-arr"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • A group of terns are collectively known as a "ternery" or a "U" of terns.
  • The Caspian Tern aggressively defends its breeding colony. It will pursue, attack, and chase potential predatory birds and humans.
  • Young Caspian Terns have a difficult time learning to catch fish. They stay with their parents for long periods of time, and are fed by them even on the wintering grounds.

RELATED BIRDS

RANGE MAP

Range Map for Caspian Tern

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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