Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Whiskered Tern (Childonias hybrida)


A more slender bird than many other tern species, this bird has two distinct plumages. In breeding or summer plumage, the Whiskered tern has a dark grey body, white cheeks and a black crown. In winter, the plumage turns white on the underside and pale grey on the upperparts. The forehead also turns white and the remainder of the crown becomes flecked with white, thus appearing grey. Both the bill and legs of the Whiskered tern are red.


The Whiskered tern mainly lives inland marshes, pools and lakes, where there is substantial vegetation. It feeds over lakes, marshes, lagoons and tidal mudflats, as well as rice fields and other farm fields.


The Whiskered tern eats small fish, amphibians, insects and crustaceans.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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