Common Tern | Sterna hirundo
The Common Tern is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Laridae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Shrikes.
The description for the Common Tern (Latin name Sterna hirundo) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Sterna hirundo can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 327 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 459. You will find a picture of the Common Tern on page 432.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Common Tern between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Common Tern has a height of 35 cms and weighs around 160 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured orange. The Sterna hirundo has a white coloured throat, red legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is black
Eyes are brown
Bill is orange
Legs are red
Throat is white
Back is grey
Feeding Habits ...
This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.
This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
You can see the Common Tern bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds
The Common Tern is a very rare bird that can only be seen out at sea following fish vessels. It can be seen in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Common Tern is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
It is also seen in flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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