Categories Birds

Readers ask: What Is Tern?

What does tern mean?

A tern is a small seabird with a long tail. Terns are a type of gull, with a small, slender body, forked tail, and narrow wings. The Old English word for this type of bird was stearn, and the roots of tern can be traced back to a Scandinavian source.

What kind of animal is a tern?

Tern, any of about 40 species of slender, graceful water birds that constitute the subfamily Sterninae, of the family Laridae, which also includes the gulls. Terns inhabit seacoasts and inland waters and are nearly worldwide in distribution. The largest number of species is found in the Pacific Ocean.

What does a tern bird look like?

Common Terns are pale gray overall with a black cap. Breeding birds have a fully black cap that extends to the back of the neck and a gray belly. They also have an orange bill tipped in black and orange legs. Nonbreeding birds have a white forehead, a partial black cap, and black legs and bill.

Is a tern a seabird?

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.

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What can I say instead of in turn?

other words for in turn

  • consecutively.
  • following.
  • in order.
  • in sequence.
  • one after another.
  • orderly.
  • sequential.
  • succeeding.

Is inturn a word?

Inturn is a rarely-used word that is mostly used to describe the curves found in ancient monuments or natural geographic curves. More often, inturn is used incorrectly for the phrase in turn, which means in a proper order or sequence, as in The bishop spoke to each of the priests in turn.

What is the difference between a gull and a tern?

Gulls are larger than terns. Feather coloration of the two species is similar – generally white or gray, often with darker head and wingtip feathers. The gull has a hooked beak, while that of the tern is straight. The tern has short legs and webbed feet, but the gull has longer legs and its feet are not webbed.

What does a common tern eat?

Feeds on a wide variety of small fish, focussing on whatever types most easily available, sometimes concentrating on shrimp instead. Also eats other crustaceans, insects, marine worms, small squid, leeches, marine worms.

Are terns aggressive?

Common Terns are gregarious and breed in colonies. Although they are social terns they aggressively defend their territories.

Where do common terns migrate to?

The common tern can be found breeding across most of Europe and Asia and in parts of North America. After the breeding season, the terns migrate south to spend their winter along the coasts of the tropics and the southern hemisphere in areas including Africa, South America and South-east Asia.

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How do terns catch fish?

Like all Sterna terns, the common tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, from a height of 1–6 m (3.3–19.7 ft), either in the sea or in freshwater lakes and large rivers. The bird may submerge for a second or so, but to no more than 50 cm (20 in) below the surface.

What is the smallest gull?

Basic Description. The smallest gull in the world, the Little Gull is common across Eurasia. A few pairs have been nesting in North America since the 1960s, and the species is now a rare, but regular, visitor to the East Coast and the Great Lakes.

What is the most common gull in UK?

The British gulls

  • Genus Larus.
  • Herring gull (Larus argentatus)
  • Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis)
  • Lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus)
  • Great black-backed gulls (Larus marinus)
  • Common gulls (Larus canus)
  • Mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus)
  • Genus Chroicocephalus.

What are the small seagulls called?

Little gull



A small, dainty gull.

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