Skip to main content

Caspian Tern Identification

Looking for ID Help?

Our free app offers quick ID help with global coverage.

Try Merlin Bird ID

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A large, heavy-bodied seabird (and largest of all terns), with a large head; thick, straight, pointed bill; and shallowly forked tail. The long, pointed wings are broad for a tern.

    Relative Size

    The largest tern species. Larger than a Ring-billed Gull, smaller than a Herring Gull.

    Relative Sizecrow sizedcrow-sized

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 18.5-21.3 in (47-54 cm)
      • Weight: 18.7-27.6 oz (530-782 g)
      • Wingspan: 49.6-50.4 in (126-128 cm)