A large tern, slender and long winged. The head is fairly large and often has a ragged crest at the back. Royal Terns have a substantial body, a long, forked tail, and short legs. The bill is long and daggerlike.
Larger than a Ring-billed Gull (but with shorter legs), smaller than a Caspian Tern.crow-sized
- Both Sexes
- Length: 17.7-19.7 in (45-50 cm)
- Weight: 12.3-15.9 oz (350-450 g)
- Wingspan: 49.2-53.1 in (125-135 cm)