Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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White-Winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)


The White-winged Tern has a length of 24cm and can weigh between 80-95g.White-Winged Terns’ have a black head and body, white rump and tail, and reddish legs. The summer plumage they have a white forewing and grey on the underwing, whereas the winter plumage is much like the Black Terns’ but lacks mark on their shoulder.As the Tern family are quite similar in appearance, a trained eye is required to identify this species from other subspecies. White-winged Terns’ do not dive for fish but fly slowly over the water to surface-pick items on surface and catch insects in flight.


The White-winged Tern inhabits freshwater marshes, and during migration some can live on coasts.


White-winged Terns’ primarily feed on insects, and small fish.

Protection Status 

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

Interesting facts

Like other ‘marsh’ terns, these do not dive for fish, but fly slowly over the water to pick items on the surface and catch insects.

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