Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)


This Tern is of fairly average size – it measures around 35 centimetres long. It has a white breast and undersides and a slate gray back and upperwings. It has a black cap on its head and orange-red legs and feet. It has a pointed, bright orange bill with a black tip and a forked tail. Males and females look alike. On the return to breeding sites, the Terns may loiter for a few days before settling into territory, where the start of nesting may be linked to high availability of fish.


The Common Tern is found on islands, marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers, and beaches.


It feeds on small fish and some invertebrates.

Protection status

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

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