- Large tern.
- Slender orange bill (from yellow to reddish).
- Short, forked tail.
- Black in a narrow, shaggy band around back of head; forehead white. (Complete black cap held only briefly during breeding.)
- Mostly white all over, with some dark in wingtips.
Immature DescriptionJuvenile similar to nonbreeding adult, but bill smaller and pale yellow, back with variable amounts of dark spotting, and wingtips darker.