Skip to main content

Bird Gallery

Common Tern

Common Tern
Common Tern (non-breeding plumage)

© David McDonald

Sterna hirundo

Family: (Laridae) Gulls and Terns

Preferred Habitat: Beaches and coastal marshes.

Seasonal Occurrence: Common spring through fall. Uncommon in winter.

Notes: Common Terns may be found year round on the Upper Texas Coast, but they don't breed here. Instead they breed in large colonies on islands off the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to Virginia. There are also inland populations in Canada. Common Terns look very similar to Forster's Terns, but their bills are redder.
- Susan Billetdeaux