Bird: Forsters Tern (Sterna forsteri)

Length: 15"

Description: The Forsters Tern is seen at Wakodahatchee in its winter plumage. The body is white with light gray wings and a long, light gray, forked tail. The forked tail aids in identification of the bird in flight. In the winter, the beak is dark. The legs are dark orange. In the summer, the bill is orange, and a dark hood extends from below the eyes over the head. Very similar to the Common Tern which does not occur at Wakodahatchee.

Voice: Harsh, nasal consonants, and a "seer" and "zip". Audio is available at

Forsters Tern
Photograph by Al Liberman

Feeding: Soars above water, fluttering wings to hover and dive head-first for small fish. May also catch insects mid-air.

Behavior at Wakodahatchee: Flocks of Forsters Terns can be observed at Wakodahatchee in the winter. They are almost always seen soaring in circles above the open ponds and diving for fish. They rarely perch. They may also hunt individually.

Click here for more information on The Forster's Tern from

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