Common Tern

Common Tern - Sandy RobertsonCommon Tern - Sandy Robertson

Where and when to see: Seen fishing in Saye Bay from May to July

Latin name: Sterna hirundo

When seen in flight the Common Tern has tail ‘streamers’, making them 34-37cm long in total. They have a wingspan of 70-80cm and are most often seen hovering above the water before diving for prey. They have a long orange-red beak with a black tip. Their legs are also red and they have a black cap that is in stark contrast to their silver-grey wings and white bodies.

Status in Alderney: Scarce Breeder

Status in UK (RSPB Criteria): Amber

Worldwide Status (IUCN Red List and Population Trend): Least Concern; Decreasing

The image below shows a Common Tern chick just before fledging.

Common Tern Chick - Tim Morley