How to identify

The Black Tern is a small tern with an all-black head and body, contrasting with grey wings, back and tail in spring. Autumn birds have grey upperparts, white underparts and distinctive black head markings. It feeds by dipping down and picking food from the surface of water. This Schedule 1 species has occasionally bred in the UK.


Black Tern

Niels Krabbe / xeno-canto


  1. Resident
  2. Passage
  3. Summer
  4. Winter
* This map is intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

Key facts

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