Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri) | Avelgood Apps

The Forster ‘s Tern is a small tern, 33 to 36 cm long with a 64 to 70 cm wingspan. It is most similar to the Common Tern. It has pale grey upperparts and white underparts. Its legs are red and its bill is red, tipped with black. In winter, the forehead becomes white and a characteristic black eyemask remains. Juvenile Forster’s Terns are similar to the winter adult.

Habitat and Distribution

The bird breeds inland in North America and winters south to the Caribbean and northern South America.The species is rare but annual in western Europe, and has wintered in Ireland and Great Britain on a number of occasions. No European tern winters so far north.


The Forster’s Tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, but will also hawk for insects in its breeding marshes. In winter , it usually feeds from saline environments.


Forster ‘s Terns breed in colonies in marshes, nesting in a ground scrape. They lay three or more eggs. Like all white terns, it is fiercely defensive of its nest and young.

Calls and Songs

The call is a harsh noise like a Black-headed Gull.

Credit: Wikipedia