Common Tern

Sterna hirundo
Common Tern specimens on display in the exhibit "Birds of D.C."

DC Information

Fairly common resident in this area from early April to early November. Breeds on sandy islands in costal bays. The entire top of the head is black in spring adults; the forehead is broadly white in autumn and winter birds. Immature birds have the back somewhat mottled with brownish.

Specimen Information

An immature female is at front, left.
Date: 9/20/1930
Collected By: Wm H Ball & Clarence Cottam
Locality:  Hains Point, DC
Sex: Female
Catalog ID: 317964
An adult male is behind the female and slightly right; this bird is in breeding plumage.
Date: 6/10/1897
Collected By: Wm Palmer
Locality:  Smith's Island, VA
Sex: Male
Catalog ID: 293107