Common Tern


Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) Details

Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the Common Tern, is a medium-sized seabird with a white underside, grey back, and black cap. It has a long, forked tail and a pointed, black bill. It breeds in coastal areas, often near large bodies of water, and migrates to warmer climates in the winter. The average lifespan of a Common Tern is around 10 years, and the current population is estimated to be around 1.5 million.

Name Origin: The scientific name of the organism, Sterna hirundo, is derived from the Latin words for swallow, hirundo. The genus name, Sterna, is derived from the Greek word for swallow, stearnē. This is likely due to the swallow's characteristic forked tail and its migratory habits.

Related Species: Sterna paradisaea, Sterna dougallii, Sterna bengalensis, Sterna albifrons, Sterna repressa

Sterna hirundo scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Aves

Family: Laridae

Genus: Chlidonias

Species: Bird

Understanding the Common Tern habitat

The habitat of Sterna hirundo is typically found near coastal areas, such as beaches, estuaries, and lagoons. They prefer to live in shallow waters, where they can find plenty of food. They also like to nest in areas with plenty of vegetation, such as marshes and wetlands. The unique features of their habitat include plenty of open space for them to fly and hunt, as well as plenty of shelter from predators. Other animals that can be found in the same habitat include other seabirds, fish, and crustaceans. They are able to thrive in these conditions, making it an ideal home for them.

Native country: Europe, Asia, Africa.

Native continent: They are found in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Their native continent is Europe.

Other organisms found in habitat: Plankton, Fish, Amphipods, Insects, Seaweed, Algae

Physical characteristics of the Sterna hirundo

Appearance Summary: Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the Common Tern, is a medium-sized seabird with a white underside and gray upperparts. It has a black cap, a red bill, and a forked tail. Its wings are long and pointed, and its legs are red. It has a distinctive, buoyant flight, with its wings held in a shallow V-shape. It feeds mainly on small fish, which it catches by plunge-diving from the air. It nests in colonies on coastal beaches, islands, and marshes.

Facial description: Sterna hirundo has a black cap, white forehead, and a white chin. Its bill is black and its eyes are dark. Its wings are grey-brown and its tail is forked. Its legs are black and its underparts are white.

What are the distinct features of Common Tern? Long, pointed wings, forked tail, white underside, black cap, gray back, orange legs, shrill, high-pitched calls, migratory behavior, feeds on insects, fish, and crustaceans, nests in colonies on the ground or on cliffs

What makes them unique?

Common Tern body color description: The most common colors of Sterna hirundo are white, gray, and black.

skin type: The exterior of Sterna hirundo is smooth and glossy, with a metallic sheen. Its feathers are soft and silky to the touch, and its beak is hard and sharp.

Strengths: Flight, Camouflage, Migration, Adaptability, Social Behavior, Diving Ability

Weaknesses: Poor eyesight, Slow flight speed, Limited habitat range, High susceptibility to environmental pollutants, Low reproductive rate

Common Common Tern behavior

Sterna hirundo behavior summary: Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the common tern, is a migratory bird that spends its summers in the northern hemisphere and winters in the southern hemisphere. It is a graceful flyer, able to soar and glide for long distances. It is also a strong swimmer, using its webbed feet to propel itself through the water. It is a social bird, often seen in large flocks, and it is also a skilled hunter, diving into the water to catch fish. It is an adept hider, using its white and grey feathers to blend in with its surroundings. It is also a fierce fighter, using its sharp beak and talons to protect itself and its young.

How do they defend themselves? The common tern (Sterna hirundo) defends itself from attacks by using its sharp beak and talons to peck and scratch at predators. It also has the ability to fly away quickly if it feels threatened. Additionally, the common tern has a unique defensive behavior known as "dive bombing" where it will fly directly at a predator in an attempt to scare it away.

How do Common Tern respond to stimuli in their environment? Vocalizations, Visual displays, Touch

How do Common Tern gather food? Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the common tern, is a migratory bird that feeds mainly on small fish. It hunts by diving into the water from a height and catching its prey with its beak. To survive, it needs a steady supply of food, a safe place to nest, and a healthy environment. Challenges faced while searching for food include competition from other animals, changes in water temperature, and the availability of food sources.

How do Common Tern communicate in their environment? They use a variety of vocalizations to communicate with other Sterna hirundo in their area. They also use visual displays such as head bobbing and bill pointing to communicate with other birds. They also use postures and movements to communicate with other organisms in their environment.

Examples: They use vocalizations to communicate, they use body language to communicate, they use scent to communicate

How does the Common Tern get territorial? Defend territory, Chase intruders, Display aggression

Diet and Predators

Diet Summary: Sterna hirundo primarily feeds on small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects, and worms. It also consumes some plant material such as seeds and berries. Toxic and unhealthy foods for this organism include plastic, oil, and other pollutants.

Predators: Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the Common Tern, is threatened by a variety of predators, environmental changes, and negative impacts to its population growth. These include predation by gulls, crows, and other birds, as well as habitat destruction due to coastal development, pollution, and climate change. These factors have caused a decrease in the population of Sterna hirundo, making it a species of conservation concern.

Threats: Habitat Loss, Pollution, Overfishing, Hunting, Climate Change, Predation by Mammals, Predation by Birds

Life cycle & population of the Sterna hirundo & Aves

Life cycle: Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the common tern, reproduces through a process of courtship and mating. The courtship process begins in the spring when the birds arrive at their breeding grounds. During courtship, the male will perform a display flight and present the female with a fish. If the female accepts the fish, the two will mate. The female will then lay one to three eggs in a shallow scrape on the ground. The eggs are incubated for about three weeks before hatching. The chicks are born with downy feathers and are able to leave the nest within a few days. They will fledge at about three weeks old and become independent at about six weeks old. The young birds will reach sexual maturity at two to three years old.

Average offspring size: 20-30 cm

Most common health issues: Respiratory Infections, Gastrointestinal Infections, Parasitic Infections, Stress-Related Illnesses, Nutritional Deficiencies

Threats: Habitat Loss, Pollution, Overfishing, Hunting, Climate Change, Predation by Mammals, Predation by Birds

Common diseases that threaten the Common Tern population: Avian Pox, Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, West Nile Virus, Salmonellosis, Botulism, Aspergillosis, Chlamydiosis, Trichomoniasis

Population: The population of Sterna hirundo has been decreasing since the early 2000s, with a peak of 1.2 million individuals in 2004. In the last ten years, the population has decreased from 0.9 million individuals in 2010 to 0.7 million individuals in 2020.

Common Tern Environment

How do Common Tern adapt to their environment Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the common tern, is a migratory bird that has adapted to its environment by having a long, pointed wingspan that allows it to fly long distances. This adaptation helps the bird to migrate from its breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere to its wintering grounds in the southern hemisphere. For example, the common tern migrates from the United States to South America during the winter months.

What's their social structure? Sterna hirundo, commonly known as the common tern, is a migratory bird that is found in many parts of the world. They are a part of the food chain as they feed on small fish, crustaceans, and insects. They are also preyed upon by larger birds and mammals. In terms of social hierarchy, they form large colonies and live in groups of up to several hundred birds. Within these colonies, they form family groups and pairs, and they are known to be very social and interactive with their family and species. They also have a hierarchical structure, with the oldest and most experienced birds leading the flock.

How would you describe their survival instincts? They have a range of survival instincts that allow them to respond to different stimuli. For example, they can detect changes in air pressure and temperature, which helps them to migrate to more suitable climates. They also have a strong sense of sight and hearing, which helps them to detect predators and find food sources. Additionally, they have a strong homing instinct, which helps them to return to their nesting grounds.