Photographing The Little Tern

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Short terns fly over half of the world every year, not bad for birds weighing less than a tennis ball.


The Little Tern is in the matter of 24 centimetres long and weighs about 45 grams. That’s lighter than half a chocolate bar! Their long miserly wings and short legs are highly optimized for flying. The outer feathers of the wings are black, the tail however is white and forked. The back is headlamp grey and the underside is white. The best way to identify them is their black mask-like head pattern and white forehead. The bill is yellow with a hyacinthine tip.



Apart from the American continent, the Little Tern are seabirds in the family Laridae that have a worldwide distribution and are normally found near the sea, rivers, or wetlands can be found almost everywhere in the world. However, it avoids the north of Russia and medial China. In Africa and Australia, they are essentially found in coastal regions. In Central Europe, the Little Tern also used to settle inland along consonant rivers’ gravel and sandbanks. Such habitats hardly exist today and little terns had to move to the coasts.

The Little Tern is a migratory bird. Every year in autumn it schedules off on a long journey to West Africa and spends the winter there. Their return to their breeding areas takes place at the beginning of May.


Conduct and interesting facts

Like most terns, little terns feed by plunge-diving. They usually hover above the water and plunge without delay they found a small fish, sometimes from 10 meters high. They may feed on insects on some occasions. Males also use fishes as an oblation during their courtship display.

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By the end of May, the female lays 1 to 3 eggs. The nest is usually a shallow depression in the sand. Both parents incubate the eggs for 17 to 22 periods. Terns are very defensive of their nest and young and will never hesitate to attack an intruder getting too close.

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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