Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - HBW 3, p. 652
French: Sterne pierregarin
Spanish: Charrán Común
Taxonomy: Sterna Hirundo Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
In North America, genetic studies of populations in Minnesota and Wisconsin and ringing studies in NE USA reveal high degree of gene flow, despite colony site tenacity. C Asian minussensis often considered to be no more than a hybrid form between nominate hirundo and longipennis. Four subspecies normally recognized.
Subspecies and Distribution:
- hirundo Linnaeus, 1758 - North America to N South America, Atlantic islands, Europe, N Africa (Tunisia) and W Africa (Mauritania, Senegal, erratically Nigeria), through Middle East and Black and Caspian Seas to Yenisey Valley; winters S of Tropic of Cancer.
- minussensis Sushkin, 1925 - C Asia through Transbaikalia to N Mongolia and S Tibet; winters mainly N Indian Ocean.
- tibetana Saunders, 1876 - W Mongolia S to Kashmir, Tibet and Sichuan, at high altitudes; winters mostly E Indian Ocean.
- longipennis Nordmann, 1835 - NE Siberia S to NE China (C Heilongjiang to Inner Mongolia and Shanxi); winters SE Asia to Australia.
- Least Concern Enlarge map
VideosSee all 72 videos
A pair on the beach Locality Rocha Lagoon, Rocha Department, Uruguay
Martin Manassero 24 January 2013 1 year ago 51 sec 4.8
Two different pairs defending their territory. Locality Texel, North Holland Province, Netherlands
Yoel Jimenez 19 May 2012 2 years ago 35 sec 4.6
A chick on the ground being feed by an adult bird. Locality Parikkala, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Javier Ortas 24 July 2010 4 years ago 41 sec 4.6
An adult bird eating a fish. Locality Parikkala, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Javier Ortas 24 July 2010 4 years ago 30 sec 4.5
A pair mating Locality Siikalahti Wetland Nature Reserve, Parikkala, Southern Finland Province, Finland (ssp hirundo)
herve jacob 5 June 2010 4 years ago 48 sec 4.5
A flock of around 25 individuals resting on the beach Locality Helgoland, Germany (ssp hirundo)
Juan Fernández Elipe 10 September 2007 6 years ago 15 sec 4.5
PhotosSee all 98 photos
A bird flying with a small fish.
Locality Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario, Canada
Michel Lamarche 11 May 2009 4 years ago 4.8
Common Tern taking off chasing another tern (out of shot)
Locality Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Rye, East Sussex, England, Great Britain
WickWelsh 4 weeks ago 4.5
Predation of Common Tern's chick by Yellow-Legged Gull
Locality Po Delta Regional Park, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy (ssp hirundo)
Giuseppe Varano 15 July 2010 7 weeks ago 4.5
Common Tern nest with eggs and a chick just hatched
Locality Valli di Comacchio, Po Delta Regional Park, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy (ssp hirundo)
Pierandrea Brichetti 23 May 1984 25 weeks ago 4.5
One bird delivering small fish to partner
Locality Zeebrugge, West Flanders Province, Belgium
Peter Boesman 29 May 2006 30 weeks ago 4.5
An adult with a fish.
Locality Vorarlberg State, Austria (ssp hirundo)
Fran Trabalon 27 July 2012 2 years ago 4.4
Voices of birds. Locality Axios Delta, Central Macedonia Region, Greece
Theo Mamais 20 April 2008 1 year ago 5
Two birds flying together. Locality Essonne, Île-de-France, France
Julien Rochefort 5 July 2007 4 years ago 4
Click to play
A bird calling while fishing. Locality Rudong, Jiangsu, China (Northern)
(ssp longipennis )
Eric Roualet 23 June 2014 6 weeks ago 0
Birds calling while roosting on rocks with Crested Terns. Locality Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria, Australia
Nick Talbot 18 February 2013 1 year ago 0