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Common Tern
Sterna hirundo
Size: 32-37cm
UK Status: fairly common migrant breader / common passage visitor

Photo ©

Typical black crown, grey back and wings and pale front with angular shape. Very similar to Arctic Tern, though commoner and having longer legs (Arctic appears to have almost no legs when standing). Also, Common has dark wedge on primaries, and more scarlet bill and legs (as opposed to Arctic's blood red bill and legs). Tail streamers don't usually project as far back in flight as Arctic. Juvenile and adult winter plumage have white forehead, bill of adult turning black in the winter. Commonest of terns in region, breeding in coastal areas and inland lakes etc. Summer visitor to Britian.

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