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These are the most widespread terns in North America, ranging throughout the eastern United States and along the west coast during migration, breeding across much of southern Canada and into the Northwest Territory. Common terns are a non-breeding resident of the Caribbean islands and much of the coasts of Central and South America.
Breeding plumage (April - November) shows a black cap, orange-red legs and an orange-red bill with a black tip that is often lost after July. Non-breeding plumage (October - March) features a white forehead, black or reddish-black legs and black bill. The base of the bill may sometimes appear dark red.
Sterna hirundo is a member of the Laridae - Gulls, Terns & Skimmers family.
Other species of this genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
View Sterna maxima - ROYAL TERN
View Sterna antillarum - LEAST TERN
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For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds page for this species
Date record last modified:
Oct 19, 2008