Common Tern
Sterna hirundo

– medium-sized tern
– considerably smaller and lighter weighted than Common Black-headed Gull
– diurnal migrant, but probably nocturnal as well
– migrates in small (sometimes large), loose flocks (in swift migration in dense flocks) or as family-party (summer)


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY
BIF2151, 05/07/20070, Spain, Martin Grimm


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY
BIF0992, 13/09/2010, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY
BIF0993, 23/08/2012, Cuxhaven, Germany, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY
BIF0994, 13/09/2010, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY
BIF2152, 03/10/2008, Rügen, Germany, Martin Grimm


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY
BIF2153, 22/09/2015, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY
BIF2154, 22/09/2015, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
same as BIF2153


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 2CY
BIF0995, 21/09/2013, Cuxhaven, Germany, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, AD BREED
BIF0099, 07/05/2009, North Sea, offshore, Germany, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, AD BREED
BIF0098, 30/06/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, AD BREED
BIF0181, 01/08/2013, Delitzsch, Germany, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, AD BREED
BIF0182, 01/08/2013, Delitzsch, Germany, Mathias Putze


Common Tern Sterna hirundo longipennis, AD BREED
BIF0180, 28/05/2014, Öndörchaan, Mongolia, Mathias Putze



Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, AD, 1CY, calls during migration
BIF0100, 05/08/2010, North Sea, offshore, Patrick Franke


Common Tern Sterna h. hirundo, 1CY, calls during migration
BIF2132, 23/09/2015, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann

voice:
– very vocal
– particular calls during migration
– flight calls lower pitched than Arctic Tern
– 1CY birds regularly utter begging calls during migration with AD
– AD flight call is 0.4 sec long, harsh, slightly downslurred, screechy
– obvious voice break towards the end
– 1CY flight call is somewhat shorter and more blurry than AD calls
– social call a 0.05sec long, overslurred, variable ‘wit’
– during spring migration birds utter several calls related to courtship and breeding too

comparison species:
Arctic Tern (v) (a)
Sandwich Tern (v) (a)
Gull-billed Tern (v) (a)
Whiskered Tern (v)

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