Caspian Tern

(Hydroprogne caspia)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Caspian Tern

NatureServe

N4N5B, N5N - Apparently Secure to Secure Breeding, Secure Nonbreeding

SNRM - Unranked Migrant

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Uncommon migrant

Habitat

Breeding: Islands in lakes and rivers

Migration: Wetlands, shores of large lakes and rivers

Size

19 to 23in length

48 to 54wingspan

 
Identification

This is a large tern, the world“s largest. The bill is thick and reddish-orange with a small black tip. The outer primary feathers, seen from below in flight, are very dark. The legs are black.

 
Voice

 

 
Similar
Species

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) is much smaller. The legs are red.

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri) is much smaller. The legs are orange.

 
Food

Small fish, tadpoles, and aquatic invertebrates

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

Late April to mid-June and mid-July to mid-October

 
Comments

Taxonomy
Caspian Tern was formerly placed in the Genus Sterna. Based on mitochondrial DNA analysis in 2004 it was placed alone in its own genus. There are no subspecies.

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Charadriiformes (shorebirds and relatives)

 

Family:

Laridae (gulls, terns, and skimmers)

 
Synonyms

Sterna caspia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
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Lynn Rubey
       

A breeding Caspian Tern in flight near the West Pool area of The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

  Caspian Tern   Caspian Tern
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

 

     
Slideshows
   
  Caspian Tern
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Caspian Tern  
     
  Caspian Tern
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Caspian Tern  
     
  Caspian Tern
Joshua Mayer
 
  Caspian Tern  
 
About

Hydroprogne caspia

 
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
   
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Other Videos
 
  Caspian Terns Up Close & Personal
Elkhorn Slough Foundation
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 22, 2009

Bruce Lyons, a University of Santa Cruz professor, gives an intimate look into Caspian Tern life at the Elkhorn Slough.

Visit http://ElkhornSlough.org for more information on how you can protect wildlife at the the Elkhorn Slough.

Filmed, narrated, and copyrighted by Bruce Lyons, 2004.
Used with permission by The Elkhorn Slough Foundation.
Edited by Ken Collins

   
       
  Caspian Tern
LabofOrnithology
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 5, 2015

Juvenile Caspian Terns follow their parents after leaving the nesting colony. Listen to the begging call given by this juvenile.

ML Video #447038; video recorded by David O. Brown.

For more bird videos and sounds, explore the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. http://macaulaylibrary.org

For additional identification and life history information visit: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/caspian_tern/id

   
       
  Caspian Tern,Sterna caspia, preening
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 23, 2014

Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia preening.
Hydroprogne caspia

   
       
  Birds USA... Caspian Terns
groenelantaarn
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 12, 2013

Birding trip with Roman and Vicky...
Hydroprogne caspia
Salamonie lake, Indiana, USA 23-08-2013

   
       
  Caspian Tern Colony
Phil Armishaw
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 19, 2015

One of the Caspian Tern Colonies in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

The Terns share the island with hundreds of Double--Crested Cormorants and lots of Gulls. The adult Terns are bringing fish back to the colony and than the search begins for their young. It is not an easy task and you will see lots of youngsters trying to mooch food, but the adults will only feed their own. In the last scene a Tern finally finds it's juvenile and feeds it. Another adult fails when a Gull steals the fish.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
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Lynn Rubey
5/15/2020

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A breeding Caspian Tern in flight near the West Pool area of The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

Caspian Tern


         
         
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