Elegant Tern Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A medium-sized, slender tern with a long, thin, slightly drooping bill. The wings are long, slender and pointed. The tail is medium length and forked. In breeding season Elegant Terns have a shaggy crest.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Common Tern, smaller than a Royal Tern.

    Relative Sizecrow sizedcrow-sized
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 15.3-16.5 in (39-42 cm)
      • Weight: 6.7-11.5 oz (190-325 g)