• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer
Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Sandwich Tern

Thalasseus sandvicensis ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: LARIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Sandwich Tern Photo

A bird of marine coasts of the southeastern United States and the Caribbean, the Sandwich Tern is readily identified by its shaggy crest and yellow-tipped black bill.

Learn more about BirdSleuth
Birds of North America Online

Appearance

Gull-like
Gull-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

Medium-sized tern. Long, thin black bill with pale yellow tip. Body white. Back pale gray. Elongated feathers on back of head make a slight shaggy crest. Black cap when breeding. Pale forehead in winter. Legs black.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to nonbreeding adult, but with dark markings on back, crown entirely dusky, and bill may lack yellow tip.

Range Map Help

Sandwich Tern Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Adult breeding

    Sandwich Tern

    Adult breeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Florida, May 2000
  • Adult nonbreeding

    Sandwich Tern

    Adult nonbreeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Florida, November 2000
  • Adult nonbreeding

    Sandwich Tern

    Adult nonbreeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Florida
  • Adult breeding

    Sandwich Tern

    Adult breeding
    • Giving aggressive, upright threat display
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Florida
  • Adult breeding

    Sandwich Tern

    Adult breeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Florida, May 2000

Similar Species