Common Tern

Name: Common Tern

Scientific name: Sterna hirundo

Category: Birds

Nature Stars: 50

What are nature stars?


A medium-sized tern, about 35cm long. This is the commonest tern and the one you are most likely to see away from known breeding colonies. Silvery-grey above and white below, with a large black cap. Short red legs and a red bill with a black tip. Common terns plunge-dive to catch their prey!

Other terns found in the UK:

Little tern

Sandwich tern

Artic tern

Black tern

How to identify: Common tern and arctic tern can be very difficult to tell apart. The common tern is whiter below, has shorter tail streamers and a longer bill, orangey red with a black tip.

Where: A summer visitor, nesting on gravelly beaches and islands around the coast and inland on gravel pits and reservoirs.

Natural Superpowers

  • Predator: 70
  • Agility: 80
  • Rarity: 40
  • Cute factor: 50
  • Traveller: 80

Fantastic fact:

Photograph credit: Photo credit tbc

More in this category: Arctic Tern » « Red-throated Diver