Scientific Name: Sterna hirundo (Sternidae).
English Name: Common Tern (Tern family).
French Name: Sterne pierregarin.
5 Key Characters:
- long wings and graceful flight.
- black cap, with the rest of the plumage white and grey.
- red beak with a black tip.
- red feet and legs.
- forked tail.
Lookalikes: Other terns, especially Arctic Tern S. paradisaea, which has a more deeply forked tail and completely blood red beak.
Habitat: Along rivers and lakes, nesting on rocky islands, beaches and marsh edges.
Months Present: A summer visitor, April to September, nesting in large numbers at freshwater sites such as in the Brenne.
Status: Abundant with the population probably increasing. Habitat loss is the main threat, along with disturbance of colonies, predation and pesticides.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: