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10

Caspian Tern

(Hydroprogne caspia)
German name(s): "Raubseeschwalbe"
Size: 48-60 cm; wing span: 1.25-1.45 m
Weight: 530-780 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Caspian Tern at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

Sex unknown

BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Caspian Tern in breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sado estuary, Setubal, Portugal, April 2019]

Near-dorsal view of a Caspian Tern in breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sado estuary, Setubal, Portugal, April 2019]

Near-dorsal view of a Caspian Tern in breeding plumage in flight, different phase of the wing beat (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sado estuary, Setubal, Portugal, April 2019]

NON-BREEDING

Frontal view of a Caspian Tern in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Ribeira das Enguias, Tejo estuary, Portugal, January 2020]

Near-frontal view of a Caspian Tern in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Marinha da Garganta, Faro, Algarve, Portugal, October 2020]

Near-frontal view of a Caspian Tern in non-breeding plumage, left, with an immature bird on the right
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Marinha da Garganta, Faro, Algarve, Portugal, October 2020]

Near-lateral view of a Caspian Tern in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Marinha da Garganta, Faro, Algarve, Portugal, October 2020]

Lateral view of a Caspian Tern in non-breeding plumage in flight - wings up (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, February 2023]

Lateral view of a Caspian Tern in non-breeding plumage in flight - wings down (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, February 2023]

Near-dorsal view of a Caspian Tern in non-breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Ribeira das Enguias, Tejo estuary, Portugal, February 2023]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of an immature Caspian Tern on the right, with an adult in non-breeding plumage
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Marinha da Garganta, Faro, Algarve, Portugal, October 2020]

Near-lateral view of a first-winter immature Caspian Tern note the sparse scalloping on the upperwing feathers
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Marinha da Garganta, Faro, Algarve, Portugal, October 2020]

Photos of Caspian Terns were also taken by us in Australia.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

csptern_20231227.m4a (NW NSW) Contact call? (in-flight) © MD
csptern_20231227_3.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls? (in-flight) © MD
csptern_20231227_6.m4a (NW NSW) Various (in-flight) © MD

The calls in the recording below made several other species take to the air in alarm: Red-necked Avocet, Pied Stilt, Masked Lapwing, Silver Gull.

csptern_20231227_5.m4a (NW NSW) ? (in-flight) © MD

More Caspian Tern sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.