Merlin Bird Graphic

Merlin Bird ID

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    Common Tern Identification

    The Four Keys to ID

    • Size & Shape

      Common Terns have long, narrow, angular wings and pointed wingtips. Unlike gulls, this tern has a straight, slender bill. The tail is forked and the legs are short.

      Relative Size

      Larger than a Least Tern, smaller than a Caspian Tern.

      Relative Sizebetween robin and crowbetween robin and crow
      • Both Sexes
        • Length: 12.2-15.0 in (31-38 cm)
        • Weight: 3.3-7.0 oz (93-200 g)
        • Wingspan: 29.5-31.5 in (75-80 cm)