Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern | Its name comes from the Latin and, like the name suggests refers to the Caspian Sea.

The Caspian Tern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. Their global population is approximately 50,000 pairs. While their numbers in most regions are stable, the Baltic Sea population is declining and is now a conservation concern.

©Jan Erik Roer | Caspian Tern
©Jan Erik Roer | Caspian Tern preparing to dive

Where can we find the Caspian Tern?

You wouldn’t normally expect to find this bird at Footsteps but close by. The wetlands about 10 minutes walk from us or at the beach.

The Caspian Tern can be found across Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North/South America. See our guided bird-watching trips.

In Gambia this delightful bird is widespread and generally fairly common along the coast.

What does it look like?

Weighing in at around 25 oz it is the world’s largest tern at up to 60 cm long and a wingspan of more than double its size around 140 cm. Adults have black legs and a long thick deep orange bill, the end of which is black. Their head is white with a black cap and a white neck, underside and tail. The upper wings and back are pale grey; the underwings are pale with dark primary feathers. Source Wikipedia

What does it feed on?

They feed mainly on small fish. They also sometimes like to eat the young and eggs of other birds. Also rodents as well as large insects.

Want to know an interesting Factoid or two?

In 2016, a nest of the Caspian tern was found in the Cape Krusenstern National Monument in northwestern Alaska, 1,000 miles further north than any previous sighting. This development was part of a general trend in Alaska of species moving to the north, a tendency ascribed to global warming. Source Wikipedia. In the wild, they can live up to 26 years and are monogamous.

How does it sound?

Its call is a loud croak similar to that of a Heron.

©Jan Erik Roer | Caspian Terns are accomplished fishermen
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