Living Bird Magazine
Elegant TernThalasseus elegans
- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Laridae
A medium-sized tern with a shaggy crest and a long, slightly drooping orange bill, the Elegant Tern is seen along the Pacific Coast. After nesting in very southern California and Mexico, it wanders northward to northern California, or even to British Columbia.More ID Info
- Charrán Elegante (Spanish)
- Sterne élégante (French)
- Cool Facts
- Approximately 90-97% of all Elegant Terns nest in one colony on Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California, Mexico.
- The Elegant Tern was first found nesting in the United States in 1959 in San Diego Bay, California. Since the 1980s, several more colonies have been established in California.
- The oldest recorded Elegant Tern was at least 20 years, 11 months old when it was found in California in 2010, the same state where it had been banded in 1989.